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.
NOTE: Canadian poetry! For no particular reason, I am taking over Melissa Broder’s column for the month of the October to spotlight poems by contemporary Canadian writers. Today’s poet is Sara Peters, whose (beautiful, delicate, lucid) debut collection, 1996, was published last Spring by House of Anansi (see The Rumpus’ review).
She was thirty-four,
.. . .. . she’d recently chopped off her right index finger
and she came to my high school for recess and lunch.
.. . .. . I felt her before I saw her:
she ran her hand down my spine
.. . .. . It happened so fast I had no time to pose.
Nothing felt better to me
.. . .. . than being touched possessively,
without having to touch someone back.
.. . .. . She’d pull my braid, pick lint off my sweater,
smooth my eyebrows, all while explaining
.. . .. . saffron and fisting and France.
Once, she tightened my scarf
.. . .. . and we drove to her rented cabin, until the road stopped
and we were walking through snow
.. . .. . falling at inaudible frequencies.
She sang something under her breath
.. . .. . (she said it was nothing I knew),
striding ahead in unlaced boots, her jacket flapping open.
.. . .. . She wore so many layers, I’d never been able to tell
the actual size of her body, beyond the occasional ankle or wrist
.. . .. . breaking the surface. Around her the stars spun like tops:
tops I knew she could pause with her fingertip.
.. . .. . When we arrived,
she lit twenty tea lights and vanished.
.. . .. . Then animals began to emerge.
Two patchy dogs from the couch,
.. . .. . while in one corner, something nursed on something else.
There was a mirror
.. . .. . the size of a record jacket, and in it I saw her
walking out of the bathroom toward me,
.. . .. . her bandage half unrolled: the wound was startling.
I opened my beer and watched
.. . .. . as the foam ran down my hand and wrist
and she flew—it seemed—to my side,
.. . .. . knelt, took the bottle, and said
Put your mouth on it
.. . .. . and when I bent she laughed
as a cat dropped down near her knee,
.. . .. . from what seemed a great height, though it couldn’t be.
Sara Peters was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She completed an MFA at Boston University, and was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University from 2010 to 2012. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Threepenny Review, and The Walrus. She lives in Toronto.
“Winter Jewelry” from 1996 by Sara Peters, copyright 2013. Reproduced with permission from House of Anansi Press, Toronto. www.houseofanansi.com.
NOTE: Canadian poetry! For no particular reason, I am taking over Melissa Broder’s column for the month of the October to spotlight poems by contemporary Canadian writers. Today’s poet is Andrew Faulkner, whose (rad) debut collection, Need Machine, was published last Spring by Coach House.
Acknowledge Your Sources
It was a sky-draped year. We collected data like habits,
stockpiled information to have something to look into.
We were all about identity. Our primary theme was abstraction –
I know, right? With small words we touched it, and with big words
we brought it home. At a right-wing party’s office, a bomb explodes.
At a leftist rally, something something. It was the year Heidegger
walked among us and seemed especially deep. Like, at the bottom.
A little red light signalled some really important shit.
As a gift to individualism, I eschewed the individual.
As a gift to myself, I learned to hail a cab like a flower
bending towards the newly departed. We kissed strangers,
stayed up late, depended on discipline to save the day.
That summer Justin Bieber insinuated himself into your heart
like an undercover agent. The Insurgencies of Love topped all
the charts. It was a good year for wanting and my stocks did well.
But you thought I’d gone all art deco in the mind
and the four-roomed apartment we’d claimed as ours
was a little too …something for you.
You were raging for pastels. You wanted to move. So we spent
those eighteen months in a mid-sized European city whose transit
map, when crumpled, resembled a once-popular cognitive theory.
We tried to avoid cancer like the plague.
We wanted a sky the colour of a painting,
any painting, just something you don’t have to think about.
One Saturday God went out, left us $20 for pizza
and said He’d be back in the morning.
The point was that we could have done anything.
Friends stood before us like a porchlight that night
and we fought over who would ring the doorbell.
You began writing letters to Jennifer Aniston
but in a really, like, political way.
As in, between two people.
Dear, no one’s mind is right.
But then you left exactly how all the sad songs said you would
and I moved into a hotel the way a fastball chooses the mitt
it’s tossed to: the glove’s there and there’s throwing to be done.
For a while, the world was everything in my suitcase.
The morning rose up like a Parisian mob, made unreasonable
demands, then settled in for an afternoon coffee. Or café, as they say.
In terms of currently accepted physics I was pretty fucking sad.
There were birds. I made my heart into the shape of the moon,
or perhaps it was the other way around,
but you must have seen my longing in the sky
because you came back. God helps those He really likes,
as Benjamin Franklin used to say.
I was coming down with something.
Beset with symptoms, I gave up style with panache.
That is: with panache, I gave up style. I tied my tie up tight.
Is there a doctor in the house? Drumroll, punchline, drumfill.
But, seriously, is there?
Because I’m finding it hard to breathe.
Andrew Faulkner co-curates The Emergency Response Unit, a chapbook press. He is the author of two chapbooks, including Useful Knots and How To Tie Them, which was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Need Machine (Coach House Books, 2013) is his first full-length collection. He lives in Marmora, Ontario.
NOTE: Canadian poetry! For no particular reason, I am taking over Melissa Broder’s column for the month of the October to spotlight poems by contemporary Canadian writers. Today’s poet is Laura Broadbent, whose (sharp, funny, underated) debut collection, Oh There You I Can’t See You Is It Raining?, was published late last year by Invisible Publishing.
Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is It Raining?
Supple with incoherence, I have not
learned how to people myself.
Lose any hope. Above all, lose any hope.
I’ve never enjoyed a party in my life.
The meaning of this hits a little too deep.
The only women for me live a tonal complexity.
The biggest fact about anyone is their mother.
I know this is getting a little complicated.
Art school students love art school students.
There is something unutterably terrible
About art school students.
He likes it when my nails are short and clean.
Since it’s love there’s nothing easy about it
so I threw my wine glass at him.
Old wounds and their flatulence.
No one told me it was problematic to be a woman
until I started getting treated like one.
I Googled ‘Why are all Aquarius men jerks?’
I wasn’t the first.
When I try to describe you
my mouth gets an E for Effort.
I invite you for a dip and you think
its an invitation to drowning.
Find some bearings
then ostensibly learn to keep them.
Obligatory fun is ostensibly fun.
The project of the intellectuals.
Don’t open an intellectual
unless you want to be killed.
To lose those I love most.
What other lessons are there –
how to make a perfect gazpacho?
I still believe in forces.
Anger is one of my charming knacks.
Also panic for no discernable reason.
I remember things with my whole body.
Men like it when I ostensibly behave.
Supple with incoherence
Art school students are
at making the perfect
Obligatory fun gets an E
for Effort. When you’ve lost
those you love most,
your only hope is in
The biggest fact is a little complicated.
So throw your wine glass at it
then clean your nails and Google
I invited you for a dip
then you treat me like a woman.
Google: ‘old wounds
AND tonal complexity.’
Getting killed: obligatory fun.
No need to get all emotional
and intellectual about it.
The project of the intellectuals:
the terrible fact of
women and flatulence.
Everyone’s mother is problematic
trying to do something about
Art school students’ projects are parties.
Be on guard for the projects of art students
Men like when my whole body
is an invitation to drowning.
Laura Broadbent was raised in Stratford, Ontario and has resided in Montreal since 2005. Her first book of poetry Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is It Raining? (Invisible Publishing, 2012) won the 2012 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.
NOTE: Canadian poetry! For no particular reason, I will be taking over Melissa Broder’s column for the month of the October to spotlight poems by contemporary Canadian writers. Today’s poet is Jon Paul Fiorentino, whose latest (and also, I feel, career-best) collection, Needs Improvement, was just published by Coach House.
It still means fuck all to me
Write of the solitary fence post
of the day you heard the incantatory wisdom of birds of Alberta
and how the peculiar birdsong of the tundra swan once set your
Write of the struggles of your fathers
of the linguistic imperatives that shackle you and keep you from
articulating the particularities of non-heteronormative and
Write of the land and how it’s shaped you
of the small things like the footsteps you hear when you wish
to hear nothing and the incomprehensible strangeness of being
and exactly what you have gleaned
Write of the day that you lost her
of the day that you lost him and everything collapsed into
emblems and metaphors and similes and other tropes blending
into the cruellest and sharpest unit of metonomy
Write of the city that you left there
of the Winnipeg half-jokes, the myth-making memos, the spray
paint and solvents, the cult of new money, the rebuild and letdown,
the angst of personae, the collective of lonely
Jon Paul Fiorentino is the author of the novel Stripmalling, which was shortlisted for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and several poetry collections, including Indexical Elegies, which won the 2010 CBC Book Club “Bookie” Award for Best Book of Poetry. He lives in Montreal, where he teaches writing at Concordia University and edits Matrix magazine.
My friend is 71
I’ve been working in the hotel painting
I don’t get paid
With paper and shit like that
It’s just me and a friend painting
My friend talks about dying everyday
All the time
He has a plan when he’ll do it
He doesn’t want to deal with court or rent or brain surgery or immobility
He bought and sold motels
Lost money in pyramid schemes
After work we smoke cigarettes and talk
He says he wants to drink my cum so he can take my DNA with him
My friend is 71
All this is a lie except the cum drinking DNA part
Aaron Benjamin Novy is 27 years old. He has attended five different colleges for journalism and never graduated from one. He has spent the last two years driving around the United States in his van selling paintings and meeting different characters. He currently lives in Christmas Valley, Oregon, a desert community of about 400 people, where he spends his days writing, painting, drinking, smoking and attempting to build a house of used rubber tires and found wood. Here is his Tumblr.
I walked into the water and started swimming
I thought I would swim forever
My wish was to swim to Japan
and eat fish that contains deadly toxins
unless it is scrupulously prepared
and then visit the Buddhist temples
to bow down at a family shrine at the side of the road
to eat rice with the family
But I felt myself sinking
I don’t know how he got there
My sister’s boyfriend threw a carry on me
His hand massaged my breast as he towed me
It was unpleasant
but it was foreplay
so it was compulsory
I knew all about compulsory
from my Olympic training
He dragged me onto the sand
Each grain of sand was a finely honed razor
I already knew that the world was made of razors
If you explored the molecular structure of anything
you discovered it was made of razors
My brain is made of a billion razors
Each neuron is a razor
Each synapse is a strop
I wanted to scream at my sister’s boyfriend:
Why are you torturing me?
but couldn’t get any words out
He gave me mouth-to-mouth
I thought that meant we were married
I sat up and vomited in the sand
My sister came over with a child’s shovel and covered it up
The shovel was bright green
It turned into a mystical frog
and squirmed in her hands
She shrieked and dropped it
The mystical frog peed in the sand
and froze everything for eternity
Mitch Grabois was born in the Bronx and now lives in Denver. His short fiction and poetry appear (or will appear) in over one-hundred literary magazines, most recently The T.J. Eckleberg Review, The Examined Life, Memoir Journal, Out of Our and The Blue Hour. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, published by Xavier Vargas E-ditions, is available for all e-readers for 99 cents through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords (which also provides downloads to PC’s).
Your cupboard is not a ghost. Your lamp is not a
ghost. Your television is not a ghost. Your electric
toothbrush is not a ghost. The wind through the
open window is not a ghost. The reflection in the
mirror is not a ghost. The minivan in the street is
not a ghost. The doorbell is not a ghost. The man
in your closet is not a ghost. The man in your
living room is not a ghost. The man in your
bathroom is not a ghost. The man in your kitchen
is not a ghost. When this man puts his hands on
yours, they are not ghost hands but real hands.
When this man leans over in the middle of the
night and says, I love you, they are not ghost
words but real words. You are afraid.
The White Poet
The White Poet wanders through whiteness. He
considers the things that are white. The streets
are white. The hills are white. The moon is white.
The shadows are white. The vacant lot where
children are fighting in the rain is white in his
thoughts. In memory, his mother’s hands are
white and stained with white dirt. Everywhere he
turns, a policeman stands behind him, flashing
his white flashlight into his White Poet Eyes.
Matthew Fee is currently studying at the University of Utah. Recent work is published or forthcoming in journals such as The Laurel Review, Everyday Genius, Lemon Hound, Sixth Finch, Salamander, Hunger Mountain, and The Cortland Review. Find more at pointingatindigo.blogspot.com.
selvedge jean is the highest level of jean
obviously i want to sit in your tub
i want to be soaking my raw selvedge jeans in there
i want to be reading something you recommended
i want to be listening to something i recommended
i want you to be reading too
i want you to be on the toilet, sideways, leaning back on the wall
i want you to be cross-legged
i want your legs to be long in your boy shorts
i want them to exude mystery and shyness
i want your arms to be uncrossed
i want your breasts to strain against your striped cotton shirt
i want them to exude huge, disastrous power
if you are wearing glasses, i want your hair to be done
if you are licking your lips, i want it to be audible
i want to watch you in my peripheral vision, picturing pinknesses
i want you to not think of me at all
i want to get out of the tub
say ‘my denim is done’
look at you blankly
i want you to finish your passage
look at me blankly
i want to walk up to you and uncross your legs in a yank
kiss you with a dangerous force
drain my lust in you
fuck you right there on the toilet seat
denim still on
you figure out how
Follow Alex Vance on Spotify by searching “Alex Vance” and clicking “Profiles” at the top.
The mime has stigmata
and that is a problem.
He is not even Catholic
but considered converting.
The wounds first appeared
during a Thursday night show.
It was not Holy Thursday,
but it was wholly sold out.
Though no photos exist,
the memory is fixed:
his palms flat and up,
blood pinking white gloves.
Everyone knew it was not
part of the performance:
his routines include sandwich
making, window washing,
cello playing. No
violence. Afterward, he
burned the gloves, washed
his hands with such force
they were redder than blood.
Someone called the bishop.
He hadn’t worn gloves
in years, asked if he could
borrow the mime’s,
who said he’d burned all
his pairs, convinced cloth
had given him the rash.
They stood together
on the empty stage,
burning beneath the light,
concluding that pantomime
was an essential ingredient
for most professions.
Nick Ripatrazone’s most recent book is The Fine Delight: Postconciliar Catholic Literature (Cascade Books). He is also the author of two books of poetry, Oblations and This Is Not About Birds (Gold Wake Press), and two forthcoming novellas. This Darksome Burn (firthFORTH) and We Will Listen For You (CCM Press). He lives with his wife and twin daughters in New Jersey.
should they may
be could you would
she called me up in
may and thought
she should but I would
not. can I may
could you might
then we fight —
he said should she
would she could but
which they might
and she could see there
only what she looked at
which was not there.
New York based Sophia Le Fraga holds a B.A. in Linguistics and Poetry from New York University. Her poetry has appeared in Lambda Literary Review’s Poetry Spotlight, The Broome Street Review, and Lemon Hound, among other publications. It has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, and in 2011, throughout Berlin. Her chapbook I DON’T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE INTERNET is out now, and her book of Whitman erasures, Song of Me and Myself is forthcoming.
This poem was inspired by The Hanged Man card of the tarot deck.
from Fugitives of Speech
the trees fanned out around Mallender
as Sheer had described them
during his concussion-induced study session
in the woods behind his house
here too the branches wavered without the weight
of their leaves Mallender couldn’t focus
his eyes upon them maybe they weren’t entirely trees
too ephemeral milky black a few shades thick enough
not to be pure apparitions more like a neuron
diluted in the foggy ocean of the sky
the base of the tree
unconnected to the very earth
flickered in tune to the wind
which drew Mallender
plodding in one direction
a feint blue light
pulsed through the persuasively permanent
when Mallender came to a circular clearing
he arrived also with the knowledge that his journey
had been long and full of peril
though he hadn’t experienced that interim
must have been a leap in time
as a jellyfish’s body fluctuates in the sea
translucent blue vespers shimmered in the area
cleared of trees
metal appendages detached from a body
that remained connected by the pale blue aura
it all floated in the shape of a body making an X
a body mid jumping jack not unlike Davinci’s
Virtuvian man that Mallender’s mother had on bookplates
in her Audubon books from the 70′s
the entire body spun making the blue fan out
into a sphere perfect except
for slight delineations call them borderlines
between each spinning section of the body
The legs separated from the sphere
and came at Mallender like a sliced blue tomato
the blue disappeared into the legs and immediately
the metal could take any shape it wished
not as fluid as T-1000 but more imaginative
and without the one-track-violent mind
the living metal sliced itself into silver byzantine halos
hovering slowly and developing wings
the accoutrements of angels without bodies
filling but not overwhelming the grey sky
the arms next detached themselves
from the still spinning
but increasingly piecemeal sphere
in front of Mallender they became a lathe and spun
and carved themselves into an obelisk bearing the hexagram
Mallender had cast for himself so recently
not just an obelisk but a sort of chimney shrouding the sky
with another sky from grey to green to hazel
next the head lowered itself to Mallender
the hair spread out as it had before at Whitney Park
rivers untangling from each other below
the half angels and golden brown sky
not simply rivers arbitrarily distributed
they spelled out words in luscious cursive
which Mallender could not read
though he knew the message vital to him
riverwriting show me the riverwriting he yelled
in response the final segment the torso approached him
the metal condensed itself into a chrome pomegranate
the seeds floating in air sprouting into
those wilting as fast as they bloomed
into blue herons that paced
and trumpeted silently into the air
the vision for all its chaotic happenings
maintained an un-earthly rhythm
the herons’ awkward steps always in line with one another
the halos spun around Mallender with the rhythm
of a torsion pendulum on an anniversary clock
the rivers sang
and in a flash without thunder
Diana stood before Mallender
just her the hazel sky and the trees
she was looking at him with respect but not love
as she had at Havland pond
from the trees still inky black
came a single note an ah
voices of the young and old male and female
it helped release Diana’s nature from this machine
Diana dispersed as the sky had from the obelisk
the trees turned green the chrome steel body
stood at attention with a blank stare on its flawless featureless face
but still Mallender’s affections for this husk of metal and energy
did not change
Ben Pease is a poet and visual artist with degrees from Emerson College and Columbia University. He hails from Ludlow, MA, the setting for his next book, Fugitives of Speech. He is an assistant professor at ASA College in New York City.
This poem was inspired by The Chariot card of the tarot deck.
Pulling the Sun
Once, drunk on an island in the south of France
at a dinner party
a woman read my cards.
She didn’t speak any English.
Simone’s mom translated for me.
I wavered on a precipice
watching her lay each card down.
I looked unhinged into her low stream of French.
Her voice was amazing.
Full of calorific heat. She pushed coals
around my feet, pounding, her teeth
crooked in a fabulous smile.
Her hands were soft, multiplying rapidly,
gesturing through a veil
of incredible wine.
She set a video camera beside us.
She was making a documentary.
I felt like a female Great White shark
mating in the near-soporific effect
of a feeding frenzy.
I was riding a tiny horse
out of a sunflower field.
The whole feng shui of the house fluttered
around me. The sun sunk and died in my arms.
It’s something to do with your mother, she began.
And a bone-china teacup floated
in front of face and cracked
there’s too much at stake.
The body, the brain,
the liquor of the past
pouring in like a tonic.
In the middle of nowhere
the brain is more meaningful.
Some days I forget where I am.
I feel nothing. I know
I watch the sea admonish the people within it.
I’m enormous from eating
in rooms of attractive European conversations
I can’t partake in.
Simone like a ten foot tall Amazon warrior holding my hand through the void.
I could hear a phone ringing off in the distance.
A swift single shot. Everything was hitting
home. Knowledge was
idiosyncratic. Somewhat retained.
The woman was the new girlfriend of the uncle.
He stood a little on the side, fatalistic, troubled
when his face wasn’t in league with hers.
He didn’t get along with the family.
The mother had just died suddenly the weeks before.
The girlfriend walked around
like a black haired shaman, nonplussed with a camera.
Mid-fifties in dark red lipstick.
We communicated all night via outside sources.
When she looked at me
I wanted to be cast down
into the subjective feeling of helplessness.
I was reading a lot of Yeats at the time.
Imagined that I would bicycle lusciously through the South of France.
But my hair stood up on my arms in the wind.
A hologram in the middle of a culturally rich environment.
It was a kind of foreign breakdown.
An untranslatable doom.
She pulled The Sun,
enveloped in accurate lunacy.
My lips were stained various shades of mauve.
I couldn’t see myself as something
living. I was intellectually outside of the conversation.
She spoke long melodic prophecies, thus interpreted.
She hit a nerve.
I eventually passed out on the settee.
Bianca Stone is the author of several poetry chapbooks, including I Saw The Devil With HIs Needlework (Argos Books), and an ongoing poetry-comic series from Factory Hollow Press. She is the illustrator of Antigonick, a collaboration with Anne Carson (New Directions), and her poems have appeared in such magazines as Conduit, Tin House, and APR. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
This poem was inspired by The Sun card of the tarot deck.
THE LAST FIVE CENTURIES WERE UNEVENTFUL
The last five centuries were uneventful
the stitches that melted
from my ripped open cunt
tasted like mint and changed color
when I peed
I peed with the door open
because this is bounty
the universe has a fat lip
we put every cock from China
inside it and splash
in the slippery oriental jizz
you feel like seppakuing because your butthole is unretractable
you feel like seppakuing because your butthole is too determined
you feel like seppakuing because one time a man was rejected by a woman
she said, You’re creepy
and he got a gun
and wrote a manifesto
against bikram yoga
against women with great bodies
against women who want to have babies with other men
against women who want to have babies with men who are not allowed to be part of their lives after they have the baby
against women who know they are good looking
against women who have died for knowing they are good looking
against women who loved women and mocked men for jerking off to the idea of a woman touching a woman
I have jerked off to the idea of a man
jerking off to the idea of a woman touching a woman
and that idea bought a samurai sword from ebay
I wanted to have a baby
I wanted to carry my baby to term
I wanted to have milk oozing from my tits
I wanted to have bigger tits than the tits I have now
I wanted to drink my own milk and breastfeed myself
I wanted to breastfeed my mother and tell her I love her
I wanted to miscarry a baby by falling down the stairs
I wanted to toast to my own miscarriage with breast milk from my tits
I wanted to have bigger tits without having a baby
I wanted you to tell me I’m the reason why the world is going to hell
I wanted to give you the hell you said I was capable of creating
no one really cares but you do and I do
we take the relics of entire countries
and trash them in the sea
when we dive for the past
we find unearthed thoughts
the fertility of what you think could one day be
is just the honest desire to be remembered after you’re dead
so much that you focus on how to be great
so much that you focus on how to be new
so much that you forget to love your father
so much that you forget to love your mother
so much that you forget to love your children
so much that you forget to love your pets
so much that you would forsake the barren godforsaken twice
farted sea which gave rise to the queen and her queenly farts
and her princely kingdom
where she once told you and I and our children to fear everything
and we did
and we lived like that
and we still live that
and we still know nothing
hiding our big dreams in the invisible centers of roses
where we feel big and round and ready
JENNY ZHANG is the author of the poetry collection, Dear Jenny, We Are All Find (Octopus Books, 2012.) She writes for teenage girls at Rookie magazine, and teaches high school students in the Bronx. You can find her at www.jennybagel.com
This poem was inspired by The Empress card of the tarot deck.
I was quiet
As I went
Down the road
By the ocean
I was quiet
Or I wasn’t
You didn’t know me
You didn’t care
I was a unicorn
On a lonely road
And the sky
Was green, pink
Lonely yellow stars
Hung by the balustrades
And the moon was gel-like
Petty, and forgotten
Did we kiss, or fuck
I don’t know
I don’t know
I don’t know anymore
I know the blue
Of the evening
And that the moon lit its face
On my road
What I’ve come to look for
I don’t see
What I’ve come to find
I don’t see anymore
Still you walk
Ten steps ahead of me
In the foreground
I can almost see
Will you turn around
Will you turn around
No you do not care
How I wander
All the things
The other time
When the sky was mist
I don’t want
I don’t want
I don’t want anymore
Dorothea Lasky is the author of Thunderbird, Black Life, and AWE, all out from Wave Books. She can be found online here: www.birdinsnow.com.
This poem was inspired by The Hermit card of the tarot deck
Elsa, IT’S OKAY. CRYING On The Bathroom Floor Is
Elsa, IT’S OKAY. CRYING on the bath-
room floor is a RIGHT of passage. You will
PRESS YOUR CHEEK against the bathroom tile and
find comfort in that irony. You will REPLAY THE
THINGS he said to you in those first 2 weeks
of dating. You will REMEMBER YOUR PLANS
to go to ———— together. IT WILL
FEEL like a condom on your heart. You
will DO THIS at least 17 times be-
fore you turn 35. EVERY TIME hurt-
ing will be different. You will EAT ONLY
WAFFLES and hope you lose twelve pounds. This is
a ritual YOU WILL CALL HEARTBREAK.
IT WILL DESTROY YOU LIKE NOTHING ELSE COULD.
Elsa When You Are Single This World Is
Elsa when you are single this world
is so amazing. It’s like an enor-
mous penis. It PAYS ATTENTION. Your
nipples harden just thinking about it.
Everyone wants your vagina. Your nail
polish changes color according to
your emotions. Elsa when you are
single it never rains. You can get away
with the things girls do in public bathrooms.
Do you miss me, Elsa? My best ideas
with you come when I’m brushing my teeth. I
wouldn’t worry about it. Instead spend
your time building syllabi, buying
wedding clothes. Wiping bug guts from walls.
These Elsa poems were inspired by The Star card of the tarot deck
I Wanted To Write It For You
Someone has written it lightly in dark paint.
Did you come here to be with yourself?
Did you finish that day you couldn’t begin?
That’s not what was written but what I came to ask.
I wanted to live with you.
I wanted to know where you leave yourself
and who you live inside.
Someone has written it lightly in dark paint.
I wanted to call you, I wanted to hear
just you. Talking. To me.
I wanted to see your mouth move.
I wanted to write you.
A novel, no letter.
Do you understand?
I wanted to write
without a beginning or end.
I wanted to write just the love part for you.
Someone has written it lightly in dark paint.
Above a window. Near a fire escape.
Because we have no escape
I wanted to write it.
Someone has written it lightly in dark paint
like I wanted to write it for you.
Just the love part.
That’s the only thing I wanted to write.
That’s what it says. Above a window.
Framed by a fire escape.
That’s what someone has written.
Just the love part.
There’s no plot. Nothing happens.
Nothing will happen in this poem.
Nothing much happens in life.
Nothing worth knowing about really.
Just the love part.
No beginning or end.
I wanted to write it for you.
Alex Dimitrov’s first book of poems, Begging for It, will be published by Four Way Books in March 2013. He is the founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City. Dimitrov’s poems have been published in The Yale Review, The Kenyon Review, Slate, Poetry Daily, Tin House, Boston Review, and the American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize in 2011. He is also the author of American Boys, an e-chapbook published by Floating Wolf Quarterly in 2012. Dimitrov works at the Academy of American Poets, teaches creative writing at Rutgers University, and frequently writes for Poets & Writers.
I Wanted To Write It For You was inspired by The Lovers card of the tarot deck.
There’s this hot little new essay in Williamsburg off the L. Rustic, natural, American: you’re going to love it!
The Brooklynification of luxury goods and services is an international trend that has been covered in such lit zines/blogs as the New York Times
Everyone is happy that people in Paris (Russian tourists) can finally get the kind of food cool Americans (Williamsburg residents) have been enjoying forever (~5 years). You don’t need to ask why, of course. But I kind of get a kick out of it, so here goes…
Also, I’ve perviously written about Williamsburg culture for The Atlantic, and as a kind of extension I feel I can comment on the exportation of “Brooklyn™” as a premium brand. Let me begin.
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 >