Janelle Cordero

Janelle Cordero is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living in the
seventh most hipster city in the U.S. Her writing has been published in
dozens of literary journals, including Harpur Palate and The Louisville
Review, while her paintings have been featured in venues throughout the
Pacific Northwest. Janelle is the author of two books of poetry: Woke to
Birds
(V.A. Press, 2019) and Two Cups of Tomatoes (P.W.P. Press, 2015).
Her new book of poetry and artwork, Many Types of Wildflowers, is
forthcoming in December 2020 from V.A. Press. Stay connected with
Janelle’s work at www.janellecordero.com.

Madeline Cash

Sponge Cake

Your mom is birdwatching and you’re thinking about rapists. She points out a woodpecker or something. She use to be a big name in publishing. Now she’s retired. Now she makes sponge cake and points out woodpeckers. The walls are painted eggshell so she’s walking on eggshells as she’s climbing the walls. She has the best landscaper in Connecticut. You wonder if your mom has a rapist. She’d have the best rapist in Connecticut. Her trees are so lush that they’re top- heavy. Their trunks buckle under the weight of their foliage. It’s like their suicidal says your mom. The best landscaper in Connecticut bolsters them with structural reinforcements.


Your mom asks if you slept on the flight here and you tell her you don’t sleep. You try to shower but your mom’s faucet is in French. It says “chaud” and “froid”. It’s too froid. It isn’t froid enough. You think your mom could use a visit to Froid. She asks where your rapist is now and you say he’s in your pocket.


Your rapist is on instagram, hanging out with everyone. Everyone is like, so-and-so invited him. He use to be a big name in raping. Now he’s retired. Now he hangs out with so-and-so and this must have been some fluke thing because he’s a really nice guy if you get to know him everyone tells you. The trees are suicidal and it doesn’t matter what language the shower is in, you never feel clean anyway.


You have trouble breathing at night. Your mom asks where your rapist is now and you say he’s in your lungs. You go for a walk on eggshells. Your mom’s landscaper is the best in Connecticut. He waves you over to see where the trees are buckling. He tells you he got into the country in a shipping crate so small he had to dislocate his shoulder to fit inside. You tell him your rapist is on instagram, hanging out with everyone. He says sometimes life throws a lot at you.


Your mom has a hybrid dog. You scratch its belly and pick up its shit. Once it dislocated your mom’s shoulder by pulling too hard on the leash. She could have fit in a shipping crate, you think. The dog cocks its head at you. It tells you that it use to be a person, a person who threw a quarter in a well during a lightening storm and woke up in the body of a hybrid dog in Connecti- cut. Some fluke thing. You’re like why are you telling me this. He says sometimes life throws a lot at you. You ask what it’s like being a dog and he says it has its days.


Your mom is making sponge cake and you’re thinking about rapists. Yours is a really nice guy if you get to know him. Your mom use to work in Paris. Now it’s only Paris in her shower. Now she’s buckling but bolstered with structural reinforcements. Now she’s blanching the basil and deboning the branzino and she’s mastered the sponge cake which is very moist. Don’t patholo- gize the sponge cake says your mom. Eat up. Life is hard but not as hard as a stale sponge cake. She makes extra for the dog and the landscaper.

Madeline is a writer from Sarah Lawrence College living and working in Los Angeles.

Claire Donato

My Ex-Husband’s Doppelgänger

Once a month, I take a walk with my ex-husband’s doppelgänger, a graphic designer with whom I share a checkout shift at my local food cooperative. At the food cooperative, my ex- husband’s doppelgänger and I cooperate with one another. Can you bring this cart back to its vestibule, I ask my ex-husband’s doppelgänger, who pushes the cart away from the register where I check strangers out. During lulls in service, my ex-husband’s doppelgänger stands next to my register, offering me blueberries. It has become routine, this offering of blueberries. I was thinking about your blueberries earlier today, I tell my ex-husband’s doppelgänger, and extract a blueberry from its plastic shell. As I place the blueberry in my mouth, I think about micro-plastics getting caught in fishes’ gills and, in my mind, envision a fish—a carp, tilapia, or mackerel; a haddock, cod, or rainbow trout—washed up on a sandy shoreline. Its colorful likeness, encumbered by the micro-plastics, is captured from above, as if by a camera drone. Its eyes face skyward. How will it find the ocean? Via this question, a foreboding melancholia plagues me. This feeling feels at odds with the blueberry’s bright hue. As the fish limply drapes across the surface of my mind, I cannot perceive whether my melancholia is in response to it, or to its exterior world. Nor do I imagine my ex-husband’s doppelgänger possesses the sort of interior sensitivity that might attune him to this quandary. For the sensitivity I possess is as rare as hen’s teeth: most days, I smell the past or taste the dead and am awash with grief.

On our walks, which span approximately 20 blocks, my ex-husband’s doppelgänger tells me about his family. In it, there is one mother, and one father, although these two archetypes are no longer married to one another. One archetype—the mother—is now married to someone else. My ex-husband’s doppelgänger does not care for the mother’s new partner. Together, we commiserate. What else is there to do, after all, but bitch? I have to go home for Christmas, my ex-husband’s doppelgänger says, and I squeeze his hand with my eyes, because he will not let me touch it. This is because my ex-husband’s doppelgänger is devoted to a life partner who makes demands on his attention, and so too demands his sexual exclusivity. And this demand is fine by me. I no longer want to fuck just anybody. That period of my life is complete. Now I am in a new period, wherein I desire to walk down familiar streets with someone unbeknownst to me, beginning at one point and ending at the next, as if we are attempting to draw a line between the past and a future with our bodies. When I attempt to draw these lines alone, the lines do not exist. Only in the company of a stranger is the passage of time real.


Claire Donato lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is the author of Burial (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2013), a not-novel novel and The Second Body (Poor Claudia, 2016; Tarpaulin Sky Press, reissue forthcoming), and is currently at work on a number of writing projects, including a novel, a collection of short stories, and a full-length LP of songs. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including The Believer, BOMB, Territory, Poetry Society of America, DIAGRAM, Bennington Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Fanzine, and The Elephants. Currently, she teaches in the MFA/BFA Writing Program at Pratt Institute, where she received the 2020-2021 all-campus Distinguished Teacher Award.

Louiza Vradi

Diana’s bath

“She baths and I am being devoured by dogs.”



Louiza Vradi is a visual artist working with photography, video and new media based in Athens, Greece. She studied visual arts, new media and art education at Athens School of Fine arts. She is interested in exploring the personal and collective memories, human movement, gender and youth culture and our relationship with the land we inhabit. She is an art educator and has been trained in art therapy, which led to her work as an art and photo therapist for people with mental & psycho social disabilities, as well as drug addicts. Her customers include international publications, media, non profit organizations, universities and creatives. Her work has been awarded and exhibited internationally.

Kika Kyriakakou

from the collage series A Room of One’s Own



Kika Kyriakakou has been working as an Arts Project Manager, a Communications Director and an Arts Writer and Editor for almost 10 years (BA, Msc). She is an ICOM Member, the Collection and Exhibitions Manager of PCAI and the Artistic Director of the PCAI Residency, supervising all the arts and education related projects of the organization and undertaking its international expansion and promotion. She is also contributing as an Arts Editor with articles on new media, film and contemporary art in the Artnews newspaper (Greek edition). She has organized and curated various film festivals, screenings events and exhibitions related to moving image, contemporary art, sustainability and fashion partnering with ART21 NYC, Loop Discover and Kunstlerhaus Vienna amongst others. A self-taught photographer and videographer, she is particularly interested in urban imagery and gender history.

Η Κίκα Κυριακάκου έχει εργαστεί ως Arts Project Manager, Communications Director και Arts Writer and Editor για σχεδόν 10 χρόνια (ΒΑ, ΜSc). Είναι μέλος του ICOM, Collection & Exhibitions Manager του PCAI και Καλλιτεχνική Διευθύντρια του PCAI Residency, έχοντας αναλάβει την επίβλεψη όλων των καλλιτεχνικών και εκπαιδευτικών προγραμμάτων του οργανισμού, και τη διεθνή επέκταση και προώθησή του. Είναι επίσης, συντάκτρια στην εφημερίδα Τα Νέα της Τέχνης όπου αρθρογραφεί για τα νέα μέσα, το φιλμ και τη σύγχρονη τέχνη. Έχει οργανώσει και επιμεληθεί διάφορα φεστιβάλ ταινιών, προβολές και εκθέσεις που σχετίζονται με την κινούμενη εικόνα, τη σύγχρονη τέχνη, τη βιωσιμότητα και τη μόδα σε συνεργασία με το ART21 NYC, το Loop Discover και το Kunstlerhaus Vienna, μεταξύ άλλων. Ως αυτοδίδακτη φωτογράφο και βιντεογράφο την αποσχολούν ιδιαίτερα η αστική τοπιογραφία και η ιστορία των φύλων.

kikamod.tumblr.com

Diana Manesi

Peekaboo games for mature women (not girls)

*peekaboo: hiding game for babies, also known as son of Boogieman with oracles of the worst and best wishes to come

I use the same eyes to weep and see, mother’s weeping eyes, sister’s seeing tears. mother was a spinster. sister was a widow. man- killers of a different sort. Father says they are cunning and use their eyesight in illegitimate ways. Mother laughs over spilled milk, sister pulls out her hair and mixes them with grass to make a shag pile rug for misspelled narratives and rituals in cunning lingo

peekaboo I tricked you

{Tran T Kim Trang turned blindness}

I yank out my eyelashes and seal them in a bottle to be found some windy day on a seashore by a virgin MILF who kills her mother to sleep with her sister. I go on till mother’s eyes and sister’s tears are the same thing, till my eyelids are distorted, till I can be their difference

peekaboo I see you

When I turn six mom takes me to the ophthalmologist. boys don’t like fucking girls with glasses. they find them dreadfully boring and self-righteous. they look like they ate something really hot. I can tell when girls with glasses have been fucked. they think they can’t see past their glasses. it’s supposed to make them more attractive to men. of course I know I can’t be this type. they also think I am unfuckable, afraid I will cut off their erection with my puffy, brown, greedy eyes, all the same Daisy duck, all the same Minnie mouse, eyes swollen and sewn. men see a MILF; boys think they can see past my glasses {into “aletheia”}

peekaboo I fancy you

I am now over thirty |8.7 myopia, left eye, 9.6 hyperopia, right eye| and blepharoplasty is the last resort for girls of my type. Doctor Antony says that excess eyelid skin causes blindness. mature girls with darker skin tones have a white visible scar. post-operative swollen, bruised eyes, I don’t want to kiss them, I think of Frankenstein. wise doctor says a mid-face elevation may be required to rejuvenate the lower eyelid-cheek complex. HOT MILFs need to take care of their hotness, eat hot soup, drink rose petals, shit rose petals, and get new eyelids

“peekaboo, peekaboo, peekaboo” shouts Dr. Antony

Yesterday, I dreamed something with peekaboo. I had big puffy ears, an orange trunk. And I could send my eyes out of my head to the fridge and call them back “peekaboo come to me.” During the day, I was with peekaboo, I was peekaboo, ageless, high-spirited. I ate simple burgers and kept sending my eyelids back and forth. When it was night, the room had the colour of my inner testicles. I was human again, one damn hot MILF with poor eyesight. I open the fridge. bats come out flying. I am faced with a choice. I can either let the bats absorb all the eyesight I have left. which is probably lost anyway. or enter the fridge blindfolded and admit I need blepharoplasty. NOT. {here turned into a playscape for MILFs and their kind)

peekaboo, I need you

Diana Manesi began writing and recording diaries when she was 11. She stopped once she reached adulthood and went into academia. For many years she engaged with feminist theory, social anthropology, and cultural studies. In the last years, she began experimenting with poetic form and playful prose. In 2017 she published her first poetry collection in Greek, entitled “One and whole: One bite” by Queer Ink Publications. Recently she began writing in English. She currently resides in London and whenever she can she travels and attends poetry workshops.

Hiromi Suzuki

Foreboders

 

hiromi suzuki is a poet, novelist and artist living in Tokyo, Japan. She is the author of Ms. cried, 77 poems by hiromi suzuki (Kisaragi Publishing, 2013), logbook (Hesterglock Press, 2018), INVISIBLE SCENERY (Low Frequency Press, 2018). Her works have been published internationally in poetry journals, literary journals and anthologies. Web site: http://hiromisuzukimicrojournal.tumblr.com Twitter : @HRMsuzuki

Kara Goughnour

Death & Taxes

Death and taxes sit on a tiled line in tin basins.
A man holds them up to explain the difference,
wiggling each like to wriggling slabs of meat.
Death, he explains, is deep red and spices,
while taxes have pink and white polka dots of fat.

The man is like a balding father, cooing above
a strung mobile, dancing for a young thing that
doesn’t give a shit other than shit itself. He packs
onions into the circular ruts of his dull eyes to cry
at graves he dug himself.

He is a jolting frizz of blonde hair on a crotch rocket,
“Gas or Ass” stickers black out the back of the metallic helmet,
a leather jacket from Target over his embroidered polo and khakis.
I imagine him with black t-shirts under polo Superman style.

Deep v-necks with bold letters spelling out
“my bike isn’t the only thing that can go from zero to one-hundred,”
or maybe even “badass” stamped across flabby chest.
He says your womanly instincts say you don’t want birth control, really.

He says this spinach is the best health insurance you’ll ever see.
He folds the meat into a neat sandwich, force-feeds me one fighting bite at a time.

Wives of Spiders

The man at work who tells you
you need to smile more only has
the best of intentions. How degrading

must a joke be before a customer can touch or punch
your work-weaned arm? How many
more unsolicited opinions of what

constitutes as work and how your work
doesn’t fall into those categories
before you get your fifty-cent raise,

before you can stop considering
instant ramen a luxury?

In this arm, you hold everything wrong with yourself
in the eyes of others; this pliable straw, like a coffee stirrer
brewing the blood in your arm with the inability for life.

You, this jewel of Clotho, this tarantula-womb of life spewing from you
endless threads of clotted possibilities and you have the audacity to burn it dry

          because you are career-focused,
          because you are stopping this lineage, proudly,
          because you are not woman enough, no, don’t want to be woman enough to bear life.

You, this daytime drinker, this shit-faced, sky-faced, head-in-the-clouds thinker
of thoughts such as writing should be work.
How many more times do you write yourself out

of this life sized up with unsolicited eyes
before you write yourself out of it
or write yourself out of yourself?

Kara Goughnour is a queer writer and documentarian living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They received their Bachelor’s Degree in Creative and Professional Writing from The University of Pittsburgh. They are the recipient of the 2018 Gerald Stern Poetry Award, and have work published or forthcoming in Third Point Press, the Southampton Review, and over twenty-five others. Follow them on Twitter @kara_goughnour or read their collected and exclusive works at karagoughnour.com.

Katie Ebbitt

Winter time

I can’t doubt my little sister anymore, in this contradictory place — it’s like renting to find the house all bought and sitting on a blanket of shriveled thoughts and memento of past/present — when I left (that day on the sledding hill) there was still an air of chivalry — now, going down this mountain, without energy, I finally tell about my disturbed life, so as not to imagine my nonsense, that beguiled by yours, we’re sober like this

Bedtime

Asylum in sleep
Night sweats
Baby brained
Terrorized with the contaminated mud
          of leftovers
Abundance of basic feminine instinct
Glistening like wet leather
Happier now than ever
Without coming to grief
Some rich locked-up person let loose
Cracked or flipped
Frugal nourishment and dead to the world
          Benched into impersonal limbo
Sparsely existing
Slept in cheap cotton underwear
Mouth wide open



Katie Ebbitt is a poet and social worker. Her chapbook, ANOTHER LIFE, was published by Counterpath Press, and she has contributed poetry to the upcoming anthology Rendering Unconscious (Trapart Books, 2019). Her work has appeared in Tupelo Magazine, FanZine, Queen Mob’s, Prelude, and Deluge, among others. She curates By The Way reading series in New York City.

Lotte L.S.

Significant Others Scale

From tomorrow the gas-lamps in the city’s streets will not be lit.

Anatoly Mariengof, The Cynics, 1928

A and B, pressing against either side of a closed door / trying to fit the outline of each other / saying, when the fit seems close, only “now” / repeating again and again until certain.

Allan Kaprow, Comfort Zones, 1975

I want to remain just a surname on the list.

Oleg Sentsov, 2016

The sun unseen as through the holes of a colander
                                         lesser light strikes down / enters from the side
a place in which there appears no one / no body
                                         no budding romance blossoming / no we
just the I causing all sight to collapse
                                         jean-claws in the corner tidying his whiskers
the pubic hair drafted into shapes resembling a T-bone steak
                                         suddenly meeting like this
in the otherwise not-for-profit night

                                       no great vertigo
of language

                                       the trap staying tightly shut

no in here / just desire
                                         handed over in hyperlink-blue
with the tongue buried deep
                                         against the being of thought
the T-bone of feeling / the thought of being
                                         the feeling that did not want to be felt / with-
held

felt nonetheless

                                         a few words interjected / then

an ankle glances at a wristwatch
                                         a cuticle gazes at a sleeve
unseen in succession
                                         the face remaining the sorry same
unmoved by its own affect

gravity redetected

false speeches pushed into the mouths of plants
                                         the I continuing to make things im-
possible:
                                         cops out / cluster headache / ~total love & blessings to all~
sentiments evacuating every neural alleyway

                                         the I / meaning / sure
you can call yourself a communist

                                         doesn’t mean you’ll survive a revolution

                                         the world turning nightly
                                         on its axis
                                         escalators gliding with backwards brilliance

the complete and utter seamlessness of the story
                                         attempting to relate to a phenomenon that exceeds it

                                         all oaks in the area
                                         promptly pumping tannings through their veins

                                         pouting their plump lips
                                         in no one’s direction

                                         as though nothing on earth had ever happened
                                         in the thinker’s cell

                                         too many attempts to be meaningful
sky-writing “divination” 4 “strategy” against the clouds

                                         refulgent in its rain / desire underfoot

clock hands overlapping at a quarter to three


                                         proliferating I’s penetrating the continually

rewritten clouds / barricading all pleasure in the plural


                                         like attempting to tie a rose to a collision spot
or land “the people” jelly-side up

                                         jean-claws employing his whiskers to gauge an opening
                                                 in the fence
the assertion of people as single letters

suggesting

that the I seizes this experience and let it become sentences

too tired to try it again

 

 



Lotte L.S. is a poet living in Great Yarmouth, the furthest easterly outlier of England. More of her work can be read here. She keeps an infrequent tinyletter, Shedonism.

Kara Goughnour

Example Proving We are Never Safe

In the teasing dark of morning,
girl with hands dried like the white-dust rot
of forgotten orange stands under the lamp-light
rays at the station’s farthest end,
where men with hoodie strings pulled taut
like police nooses smoke joints not-so-secretly,
where men in suits pace before dates
or job interviews or just because
man is known to love walking over
the most ground he can.
Girl with body like a dagger wrapped
in dining cloth slips her phone out of pocket,
checks train times, counts seconds before
speed walk along sparking train slowing
before landing where lone man stands,
glancing through girl’s shadow
into some simile or metaphor of world
where girl wants him or maybe knows his name.
Girl with head like a burst grape, ear canals gushing
with headphone-hip-hop to beat
the winter down, joins man on platform
at the minute the train is due, circumferences him
like a gnashing gator stands at his feet, like his hands
are Floridian deep water glossed with moss
and flies. Like touch from man is drowning
if it holds you long enough. Man pools
into girl’s vision with a claiming wave of hand.

When is the train due?

                                                                      Now.

Maybe we should move to the other side.
When the tracks have snow on them,
it means they’re not using the tracks.

                                                           It’s snowing.

It’s actually not heavy enough to sit
on the tracks like this, considering the
trains run often. I’m serious, the tracks
aren’t being—

Man talks like girl isn’t oozing back into herself,
like girl and man at trainstop in morning are likely
friends. Girl holding twenty-three years
of misplaced trust like dead deer dragging
enters train on the right side at the right time,
cradles her head like the man’s glance is an arrow
through it, cinches her hood over hat embroidered
with workplace logo, with red-apple target bobbing
to train-rustle, to headphone rapper’s fast lips clapping
like bear trap, Baby, you love me so. You just
don’t know it yet.

Kara Goughnour is a queer writer and documentarian living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They received their Bachelor’s Degree in Creative and Professional Writing from The University of Pittsburgh. They are the recipient of the 2018 Gerald Stern Poetry Award, and have work published or forthcoming in Third Point Press, the Southampton Review, and over twenty-five others. Follow them on Twitter @kara_goughnour or read their collected and exclusive works at karagoughnour.com.

Anna Pantelakou

Elevator

Once wrote a poem for you
Now writing a poem about you
My boss in 19

My friend in 21
My boss in 24

My grandmother in 6 and 24
My mother in all of it
Priestesses

Talked about patriarchy
-though never knew a father
Once asked for the right to
Shushed

Smacked

Smothered


Anna Pantelakou studied History and Theory of Art. She is passionate about academic writing, and is currently working on a children’s story. She was born in icy Canada, therefore writes both in English and Greek. She is based in sunny Athens.

Hiromi Suzuki

The Wedding March on Soap Operas


Someone knocks on the door of kitchen

It is Frankenstein
In a tailcoat and a white tie
For his wedding

To be exact
He is a monster
Created by a mad scientist
Dr. Victor Frankenstein

Has no name at all

The kitchen faces a creek
His coffin in solitude was dug up from the soil
And he came aboard on a glacier
From the underground waterway

Could you make the poached egg with yolk?
The golden colour is good for our escape at midnight, isn’t it?

A widow warms a pot
Creek under her feet
Passes through the downtown
And will pour into their final abode

Has no name at all



Alone, Throne, a Lonely Thorn


My elder sister in a cerulean blue wig is
On the swing as the throne alone in the park
Putting lipstick in vermillion red on her dry lips

Scattering petals of Geranium whirl in Miracle Wind
When her front teeth crush the groundnuts slowly
Out-of-season dead leaves sound in her skull

It is a lull in the sea

Listening to the rumours of sudden rain
A priest brakes the rusty bicycle again
Her flared skirt flaps in lightning


hiromi suzuki is a poet, artist living in Tokyo, Japan. The author of Ms. cried, 77 poems by hiromi suzuki (kisaragi publishing, 2013), logbook (Hesterglock Press, 2018) and INVISIBLE SCENERY (Low Frequency Press, 2018). Her works are published internationally in Otoliths, BlazeVOX, Empty Mirror, Hotel, Burning House Press, DATABLEED, MOONCHILD MAGAZINE, Hotel, talking about strawberries all of the time, Mookychick, THE CERUROVE, Coldfront, RIC Journal and 3:AM Magazine. More work can be found at hiromisuzukimicrojournal.tumblr.com.
Twitter : @HRMsuzuki

Katie Ebbitt

Andromeda


I dislike being picked up
          So don’t
Set me among the constellations

I cut off your head
          and slept with it, strung up over mine

Spot lit by naked bodies of women

Duh for the obsession
          on death
I will summon whatever again
I would masturbate
being bound to a rock

Being grabbed at
          your skin looks good

You have something over me
Who ever heard of a man turning
          women to stone


Castigation

Maybe I don’t crave permanence
so much as another idea
intimacy an anchorage
that I am trying to dispel


Rodentia

I lean late
Into good
To contemplate clean
There’s a lot
To say
With this old thread of recollection
To say
There’s a glass cage
That’s being emptied
Leaving a residue
A mild scent
In the freezer
Balled up and stiff
For the entire season
Until the backyard is softer
Regardless
I wrote a list
Marked the calendar
Checked the ground
Eulogized a little
About the dainty
Sweetness
From the dirt


Katie Ebbitt is a poet and social worker. Her chapbook, ANOTHER LIFE, was published by Counterpath Press, and she has contributed poetry to the upcoming anthology Rendering Unconscious (Trapart Books, 2019). Her work has appeared in Tupelo Magazine, FanZine, Queen Mob’s, Prelude, and Deluge, among others. She curates By The Way reading series in New York City.