Emanuela Bianchi, Maria Damon, Alan Sondheim

Nemesis

In the mythical genealogy of Hesiod’s Theogony maternal fecundity is primordial, and yet always remains marked by a certain obscurity. As Nicole Loraux observes, two mothers, Gaia and Night, are daughters of Chaos, the primordial cleft or gap. Night, “aware of nothing but division gave birth – without love – by fission only – to progeny encompassing everything negative in the Greek imagination.” The offspring of Gaia are all the gods, mostly born from a male and female parent, with their active, masculine rivalries, hatreds, and violences, exemplified by the castration of Ouranos by Kronos, and the eventual victory of Zeus over all. Night, on the other hand, will give birth to plural groups of feminine goddess (Hesperides, Fates, Keres, Nereides, Oceanides, Horae, Charites) as well as the well-known abstractions, such as Doom, Death, Age, Nemesis, and Strife. Further, “Strife bore painful Toil and Forgetfulness and Famine and tearful Sorrows, Fightings also, Battles, Murders, Manslaughters, Quarrels, Lying Words, Disputes, Lawlessness and Ruin, all of one nature, and Oath who most troubles men upon earth when anyone willfully swears a false oath.” This propensity for self-splitting is thus rendered an obscure and relentless rumble, an evil and awesomely powerful function, characteristic of a particularly feminine side of genos which masculine, paternal genos must take as its singular duty to subjugate.
Emanuela Bianchi, “Genos Between Nature and Power.”

less _a_.

and less an
incident, becuse of her feelings nemesis (o my private goddess of private emptiness), righteous hincident, bec use hve been h ve inst enemies –my enemies with their breath sweetened with the cloying toxicity of imagined sincerity) pst ted by, the resurgence Atheni st nd n g t outset Peloponnesin Wn W Wr. By brokenness fore and aft, left and right, high and low, by emptiness and brokenness in the starry night 
fifth century r. present, by cant of darkness, depth of kettlehole murk. We all imagine truth; none imagine truth looms.Femina factora, Nemesis weaves truth on her four swords. She constructs a loom of them, warps it and weaves from the lies told by the male gods; she turns their breath-lines into the thinnest thread and makes a gauze of truth. This gauze, when held against the sun, shows a rainbow.

less an incident, than the failure of truth.

The eyes of e, the I of is. The meting of what is owed. Pleased to mete you your measure of metre, of verse, of tears, to turn you into a vessel of wet salt grief. somewhere down there, CHITON is thinking, i’m glad i’m here, i’m glad i’m in the salt walk of the deep byte, maybe i’ll survive, i’ve done it for 10s of 1,000,000s of years, maybe 100s, i don’t want you anywhere near me, nemesis is your business, your impropriety, not mine. go away, i’m grazing rock.

N of negation, M of ocean, S of the deep bite. Corrosion of karmic tumble, over and over, in the salt waves, dashed against the wet sand with repeated vigor. Hurl, and hurl, splattered again. (here the chiton emerges, Cryptochitonstelleri,the giant western and fiery chiton, the platelets, almost trilobitic, monolobotic, holdfast against the splattering, against Nemesis Aura Auracular, Dear Maria, I will not close these parentheses!

Aura Auracular, the breath of speech, the gold of guile. She comes for you, blasting your face with the heat of her gaze.

Around her supple ample dimple body she wears a chiton woven of spun gold, which she bartered from the Fates in exchange for the souls of a few dozen lying men. Aura Auracular, Azure Abomination Nemesis stands upon two giant western fiery chitons, Gumboot and Meatloaf, as they graze the rocks for food. She is half submerged, half hovering above the sea in her motherly wrath. You can see her from a great distance in her billowing shimmering dimpling gold robe.

Nemesis, supreme in her negation of all supremacy, s deserved.[cittion needed] Ld come to me tion Lter, wh ter, w her laughter of whipped fawns and her smile of avenging radiance,
“to give wht is due”,[2] from Proto-Indo-Europet
Proto-Indo-Europe Proto-Indo-Europen nem- c rnessed rcing Grypes
obstinte enemy Aur cing . She, oh flowing liquid honey of melody, te d hd hrnessed r (Griffins)
newly spun robe, gold spun of molten honey, of melody, of stinging nettles, of thistle-down, ge;

to live under a shadow of pleasure. the avenging gun-toter. the slung noose of inevitability.slung lungs, where Chiton lives, now a name for this particular chiton, of which one forms all proper names:

the proper name of the is The.
The proper name of proper is Proper.
The proper name of nemesis is Nemesis.
The proper name of alan is Alan.
The proper name of of is Of.
for which we have Chiton to thank:
The proper name of chiton is Chiton.

She Who breaks the Aura, She Who divides; / ;

She who she who she who breathes at your neckhairs.
she who she who she who reaches for your belt,
she who she who she who undoes your sandal-laces,
she who she who she who trips you in the sand
she who she who she who carves her fate into your skin

then you lso hthe cestus, the following Colossus on his knees hustling clumsily after her, flogged m rri no
then you isolate the censorious overlords, pin them to their sharp words with their sharp tongues and your own sharp swords, all four of them, right through their heartless hearts
fer, for Aurto bl r, your deceitful sleep woods; your heart of Chiton;

Aura Auratic who breaks the digital bonds, creates Shadow,
She Who obscures;

deceitful in your abjection, but not so our divine Nemesis, she who walks on skulls to get to heaven, she who lifts up the abjected maids violated over and over by Zeus, Apollo, Ares.

Apollopes, Sears Ares; Aura Oracular’s Memesis, swollen and dim minds.
So he says, you’re saying that she’s saying that no one remembers their mind? No one, she replied through you. Mary and Todd said that’s where imagination comes from, from Lincoln’s logs and files, already hacked:

res Nemesis below blows your mind when you’re looking away from the horror: mend mesurement – constitution surement more than you can handle, and certainly more than you can imagine. 
H shdowy ttributes dowy digit l, this or with word, pregnant with word, but word and with shadow, pregnant with word and with shadow, casting her long lines across the city, the long lines raying out from her navel, where she stands at the center of the city, in the shadows of the word, her belly bulging, gives birth to Legion.

The Gatha of Legion:
The Improper Name of The is the.
the Improper Name of Gatha is gatha.
the Improper Name of of is of.
the Improper Name of Legion is legion.

Too hot, too hot, too hot panting in pluribus Onan, Nemesis sees your every doubled move in her many eyes, reflected in her poly-prismatic swords, so many of you, miniaturized, doing that shame thing, many times multiplied, doing that thing, she will give you your justice

will give you your Justice, just as Justice is legion, con-fined, among the nemeses of Nemesis, con-founded:

My name is Legion. I shall conquer Nemesis. I shall release Aura Auratic. No one can help being really terrific, AA comes with so many depth! To see her is to love her fantastic fast! She is so much good goodess!

good goddess tht Nemesis, vert whom,Nemesis? Wh ding wrns us by 
cubit-rule rns bridle neither do dre known (Retribution)
tribulations and tintinnabulations, raining on the city in the sight of Nemesis, trials for the worthy, the hypocrites and the major dons of the republic, their days are numbered and not so plentiful.
Discussion: ped fther Zeus, gseventh century: ther gve fter she
chnging, which only mentioned in Kyprich nging, Kypri, Kypri,
worshipped personified, seemingly different Personified rt
literture building does not ture temple ppe Attic
Why would a father rape his own daughter? why would he try to prevent her changing into a goddess, who brings retribution to all those wronged by harsh lust? Why would anyone do anything in these harsh times? Why, Improper chiton, is anyone capable, cap-able, in these yet harsher times?

Rhmnous 470s, chronology cult stmnous mnous sttue tue Pheidis
mni mde s, who expl de ins th plusibly usibly ttributed out The
rtilly role lly re identified p Helens mother ws entirely
forgotten over PersiHelens Persins, Persi ns, bse se context
story Helen [2], hs now politics politic politicl identity into
l Rh Rhmnous. bringing either mrricult ge mnous. Menelos [3].
Here joined severto Menel os severl other opposite side sever
se. here most implcc cble ble v
when is new politics of retribution going to rise in the east like our radiant Nemesis, our Name is Us, our Is Is Is of half-spoken aspiration?

Aswirl in a soup of incantatory words, we reach for a non-ground of non-being, hoping in non-hope for a survival of some small grain of embodiment. We fear we are drowning in crazed floods of language.
We say, precisely as follows, We See No Sign Of god, No Sign Of nemesis, all sign of Chiton, of which We Say:

chiton is the proper name of Chiton.
Chiton is the improper name of chiton.

NM, Nemesis-Memesis another meme. Memes are half-spoken, abject when they’re dressed. NM and AA love each other; AA says, “That’s sure more than a meme!” Right now it’s dark outside, furious storm, thunder coming. The gods are saying I’m right as rain! Men think they’re deities, AA, Abigail Aubergine knows otherwise, says deity men violence, the It/d. deity men violence. It/d [1.33.3] Of rble Peidi Nemesis. [1.33.7]
Neither nor ny ncient wings they Love. I ce ske cleke cle ke
clerness. Your protective wings of shadow and silk.
Greeks rness. will go onto describe pref he hy
represented being led Led originlly meNemesis origin ment
distributor fortune, resentment”
alchemized into clean steel-gold action.
From nt rd, In Greek trs tr
trgedies gedies fourth onw ppevenger some met ppers chiefly
physic venger metphysicppe physicl mythology, rs ys egg
discovered void bird form respected goddess, brought much sorrow
Boeotid BoeotiBoeoti BoudicaBoudiccaBoadicea furybody of
transcontinental colonization, subaltern rising to the elliptical top,
She of thegold lace and steel glides forward into the center of the fire, She calls on the dead to avenge the living. (The Greeks say, they’re in the EU, they’re tired of nasty family dramas chewing up everyone, women brutalized, there’s no excuse for that. The Greeks say, they know better, the drachma dolmas, doldrums dolorosa. The Greeks drag us into the 21st century. They say look at your usa, we have usG for many times now. Your usa has nasty family dramas.
No muses for you, usa! all art will ebb, all evil flood. Our Nemesis is beauty inverted. She’ll take your gold and good riddance!

AA, Azure Antigone, agrees. Devoid of scalars, improper Fractions, names. myths and ruptures repeat repulsive relatives’ recallings, rehearsed, reversed – reverance required, reality relinquished… immeasurable, infinite, incomparable, incommensurable, immoderate, immodest, immolating, impish…

Although too bore ffliction believed one should ever th”
(Theogony, 223, though perhps ps mort ls subject line). As
“Goddess Rhmnous”, wmnous”, mnous”, poet Mesomedes wrote hymn
honored pl rk-fced e”Nemesis, winged b ced erly times rly ncer
life, representtions resembled Aphrodite, sometimes berepresent
tions bers be epithet nme relepithet relted nmein, rel rticulrly
concerned mme mtters love. ning. myth tters sprung up ground? Myth mother on sprung ground, epithets hanging from her shoulders, mossy with froth, swaying as she trudges

All the numbers spell out a future that falls through a space in the cosmos.
All the letters gather together and ask please do not make such a mess.
chiton Calls Them Out, The Recounting Of Nemesis:

[Nemesis recounts rncient rce Typhoeus dTit ughter Phrygi. With
equns) [i.e. equl speed (the Unvoidsteivoidble) [Nemesis]
pursued Argive
venomous hymns to no avail. a tiny reticule opens to reveal a blinding light that devours all guilt. Aura Argive Absolved Absolutely Astonishing, All Animals And Androids Amazingly Absconding, Astounded! Adrble) stei let whip l[Nemesis] lter seduced Zeus], ter ck
snowbeten Tprep ten Turos red uros nother love flew nd] sid sves
id until ves ched [ Tit nes (T (Turus) urus) snowbe
an ice palace where evil is allowed to pretend it’s in ascendancy… snowbeaten paths attract all malfeasers… and Nemesis seals the door on them.

AA says Hello. And ZZZZ of the Four-Sworded Loom says Goodbye!! Goodbye!! Goodbye!! Goodbye!!

chiton

slung lungs.

goodbye.

Emanuela Bianchi is a philosopher and assistant professor of comparative literature at New York University, who works at the intersection of Ancient Greek philosophy and literature, feminist/queer theory, and contemporary continental philosophy. She is the author of The Feminine Symptom: Aleatory Matter in the Aristotelian Cosmos (Fordham, 2014), co-editor (with Sara Brill and Brooke Holmes) of Antiquities Beyond Humanism (Oxford, forthcoming 2018), and has written numerous articles in journals including Hypatia, The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, Philosophy Today, Epochê, and Angelaki. She is currently at work on a manuscript provisionally entitled “Emergence and Concealment: Nature, Hegemony, Kinship.”

Maria Damon teaches poetry and poetics at the Pratt Institute of Art. She is the author of two books of poetry scholarship; co-author (with mIEKAL aND, Alan Sondheim, Adeena Karasick, and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen) of several books of poetry; co-editor (with Ira Livingston) of Poetry and Cultural Studies: A Reader; and author of two cross-stitch visual poetry chapbooks, Meshwards and XXX.

Alan Sondheim is a Providence-based new media artist, musician, writer, and performer concerned with issues of virtuality, and the stake that the real world has in the virtual. He’s busy writing codework and theory at the moment, along with some new cds, shows, and videos on the way. His work can be accessed here: http://www.alansondheim.org/

LOUISA DOLOKSA

On Superpowers and Beautiful Women

Question: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

Answer: I wish I could transform myself into a beautiful woman. I would like to know what it feels like to walk through life with the certainty of beauty, the certainty of womanhood. I would then live a year of my life as a beautiful woman. I would shine bright, seduce and destroy and I would be loved, because I would be a beautiful woman. After a year, I would return to myself, and only think about having been a beautiful woman from time to time. The thing I am, the comfort I take in its excess and lack, is not worth sacrificing, for the sake of a beautiful woman. Still, I wonder, what life would be like for a year as a beautiful woman.

Answer: If I could have two superpowers, I would turn back time and relive select incidents, or even my whole life as a beautiful woman. Take careful notes. Before I turned back time and relived my life as a beautiful woman, I would have taken careful notes too. I suppose , I would turn back time, relive my life, take careful notes up until my decision to relive my life as a beautiful woman, then turn back time and relive my life as a beautiful woman, all the while taking notes. Would I still take notes as a beautiful woman? Do beautiful women take meticulous notes, do they have the time, do they have the strength, the patience for meticulous notes in the midst of the world’s constant demand for their beauty?

Answer: If I could have three superpowers, I would turn back time and relive my whole life as a beautiful woman who could ward off people’s desire with one hand, spin it with the other, and take notes with the other. Then I would compare notes. I would then like to meet someone who also has superpowers. Someone with the ability to transform me into a rather small, invisible nebula. I would enjoy spending eternity, eternally combusting amidst the charred pages of my notes, visible only to myself and through reflection, but capable of sound, particularly of meaningful whispers. I would whisper my observations to others who like I once was, would not be a beautiful woman. I would take every step to assure them that they are not going crazy before I told them my observations. I would introduce them to the right people. I would soon have company, maybe even lovers. We would all compare notes. If we had fingers, they would have been sooty, from exchanging each other’s charred, meticulous notes. If we had bodies, they would have been sooty, from rolling around, and biting, and scratching and licking and sucking and pulling and lightly caressing each other, on a bed of our compared, charred, meticulous notes. That we had once lived our lives as beautiful women, will matter much less than that we have lived our lives not as beautiful women.

Thank you for your questions.



Louisa Doloksa is a bowel artist, poetess and performative fattie. She enjoys talking about her empathy related bowel issues, her emotions, and the political experience of fat femininities.

JENNY WU

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG ARTIST

1.

When I used to live in the city I had a balcony on the twentieth floor. I discovered on a balcony diagonally above me there sometimes appeared, among the potted plants, a gray dog with a white M for eyebrows, and I would whistle up to him and whisper, “Hey, hey.” He would stick his long snout, then his whole face, through the railing and his ears would flop in the wind and he would glance around at the street, the sky, sometimes at me, and smile in the sunlight. I thought, “Hey, dog, are you having fun?” His gray fur matched perfectly the color of the stones of the building. Sometimes birds flew so close I thought he could bite them if he wanted; we really were way up in the air.
           One morning I was out there again, and I noticed this dog had gotten on the ledge. I whistled, he glanced at me, he glanced at the street. Before I could even wonder he had leaped to his death.

2.

The egoist’s sonnet: “I am, I am, I am, Iamb, Iamb.”

3.

People like to say there was something in the water of America. There was talk of social diseases. An old local politician was revealed to have sat in his seat in the governmental assemblies for thirty years without speaking out once. He was shy.
           Zimbardo’s studies on shyness show, from their perspective, doctors and psychologists and theorists, who were not shy, prodding and yelling at shy test subjects, verbally beating them into effeminate submission. Nearly 1 out of 2 American adults in 1975 confessed, in an anonymous study, to being shy; at first this was classed as a neurosis, an anxiety, a cognitive problem caused by some insidious socio-biological decline in Americans, especially American men. What followed were humiliating studies in which shy people were forced into parties and scrutinized, much like they already suspect they are being scrutinized.
           The researchers suspected that people were overestimating their shyness; maybe not half but only 1% of men are actually shy, they postulated. They sought out the 1% who were so shy they could not leave the house, who had driven themselves crazy. This 1% was easy to spot in a crowd.
           The researchers studied shy children and decided that adult shyness is a case of arrested development, cowardliness. Then the scientists compiled their evidence and began to fear that actually 100% of all people have traces of shyness in them; they themselves noted, at a scientists’ convention, moments of their own unease, when waiting in line at the coffee station, during silences in conversation with those obviously ill-matched for conversation (whether due to differences in intelligence or specialization). They began to fear that the disease was spreading, started spending nights partying (one party lasted 72 hours straight), laughing and dancing just to prove their worth, their charms, their wiles.

4.

A wall on which someone has written, “All walls must fall.”

5.

Marc, an amateur director, got people who weren’t actors together to make a film. The script was full of wine-party scenes, full of cigarettes as props, since Marc didn’t really know how to write yet; the scenes were really just exact replicas of real life. (Really the script was just a bunch of people standing around talking about how they felt.) But even though the “actors” were doing what they normally do anyway, they were tense and self-conscious, so Marc plied them with wine. The “actors” got drunk for real and started getting emotional, as though the lines and the drama of the script were real. Some related to their characters in powerful, inexplicable ways. Some wept. Some really did fall in love that night. Most, by the end, recalled something repressed, yet significant, from childhood and made some casual promises to devote their lives to art.

6.

“I’ve gotten better at reading poetry. I’ve gotten to the point where I can read a series of random letters, even foreign glyphs, and see a picture, grasp a meaning. The best poets can read an oriental rug.” Marc was extremely high and enamored by the rug he was sitting on. It looked, in terms of a feeling, exactly like Matisse’s red studio.

“To accurately plant an image in the reader’s mind, you must express things a tad inaccurately. In order for the reader, for example, to see Gregor Samsa as a man, the reader must first see him as a bug. In order to convey that something was merely okay, one must necessarily say, ‘It was phenomenal; no, it was deplorable.’ If the reader is imagining a beautiful woman, the writer behind the curtain is no doubt describing, in fact, in the most realistic terms possible, the coloration and softness of the skin of a peach. If the writer says ‘one thousand years,’ the reader perceives one pregnant second. In order for a reader, for example, to envision a copper-colored room, one must describe it as a rose-colored room. This problem concerned Duchamp.”

—Marc, On Imagination

“A small discrepancy in data of one or two units out of millions, accreted over a million years, becomes a big discrepancy.”

—Marc, On Time

“There are some people with fundamentally disoriented minds. They’re the ones who do not equate north with up and south with down. They will say they are going ‘down to New York,’ or going ‘up to Miami.’ I do not trust such people. Really though, you can say you’re going ‘down’ to Miami but you can’t say you’re going ‘up’ to New York. If you believe that you’re standing up straight on the spherical earth then you are always at a point where going anywhere means going down.”

—Marc, On Space

“What is it to read poetry? True poetry gives you a feeling even if in a foreign language, even if language-poetry, even if concrete poetry letters scattered across the page. Read the pattern on the rug and get that poetical feeling. La lingua ch’io parlai fu tutta spenta / innanzi che a l’ovra inconsummabile / fosse la gente di Nembròt attenta.

7.

Marc was in the hospital, and all he wanted to do was listen to gameshows and P. J. O’Rourke on the radio. I thought often about the dog on the ledge; in my mind there was a film reel constantly replaying the image of a dog falling head-first, inch by inch, down the facade of a building in grayscale.
           Marc had cancer. I sat by his bed: an attempt to comfort my friend by listing all the names I knew of great men who also died of cancer.
           “Matisse had cancer of the stomach.”
           “Is that so…”
           “Rilke, I believe, succumbed to leukemia.”
           “Mmm.”
           “Napoleon, too—a great man—again, stomach cancer.”



Jenny Wu lives and teaches in St. Louis. Her recent stories appear or are forthcoming in The Ogilvie, Dream Pop Journal, Pour Vida Zine, and elsewhere.

CLINTON CRAIG

Goldwater

Please click here to read: Clinton Craig Goldwater



Clinton Craig received his MFA from Western Kentucky University. This fall, he will attend the PhD program at University of Louisiana, Lafayette. His work has appeared in Tammy, Microtext 2 (Medusa’s Laugh Press), and Crow Hollow 19. He is from Flagstaff, Arizona.

Schematics for a Labyrinth: Pinball Cannibal

by Aria Riding

I have a position at the Department of All Roads by way of nepotism. A budget like the one at my disposal spreads legs, and I use it to pay for my girls and boys–thalidomide babies and carnival slaves with sewn-on fish tails, inside-out people, and the festering in-growns: their nails and hair grow in… A teensy fetish for driving disabilities. This is neither here nor there … I’m just breaking the ice, as we do. What do I do? Think of me as abstract and winding, lonely, rarely explored, unchecked. A great poet. A businessman poet. A bureaucrat. An artist. Manifest destiny. Covered by me. I am what Homer paved the way for. The bard of asphalt. The open road. Sit down by my side, I’ll tell you a tale, I’ll spill my guts …
    I want to sing to you what your tax dollars paid for. My first attempt at full-disclosure was a digital tone-poem in texted dick-pics that corresponded to the keys on a piano; if you played it and broke the code you would find yourself with a Dewey decimal number … take that to your local porn library and find the laser disc … find a laser disc player and viola: you will see my team exchanging hi-fives as they gang-bang potholes they have filled in with migrant workers. I was reprimanded for being tone deaf to public perception of public opinion about what perception of public opinion should be presented to those it perceivably represented … in this day and age.
    Undaunted, also unsupervised, I was able to push my next project through to glorious completion: The Memorial Freeway Leg of the Open Wounds of the Unknown Soldiers … some traffic-related (but used in preponderance were the wounds of Orientals whose deaths had been held over from the railroads for future transportation projects)… the Memorial Freeway devoured its passengers, sucking at them with the wounds’ lips, tugging them to the edge of the tarmac with the rolling, lolling tongues of the wounds, where they were swallowed into the soft, swallowing shoulders, and liquefied. The freeway regurgitated their fluid remains into its sluiceways through which they rushed in a torrent and cascaded down onto the vehicles in underpasses creating a rancid blanket of traffic jams. I eliminated sidewalks. I did that.
    After a few false starts, my road crew drilled a chasm reaching to the center of the
earth; it is not well-marked, the budget earmarked for signage was limited (some Pollack Quack floating in ponds of porkbarrels didn’t like my billboards of limericks, and cut the majority off my bill); the point is you’ll never know the exit ramp that leads you there until you are there … think of it as a tunnel of love … or something molten … something that burns and melts you … is it romance? I don’t know, but there is no recovery; and a core of liquid metal grows day by day in the center of the planet … drawing magnets … attracting meteors and space debris … hurtling at my highways.
    My overpass of tailored skins was transportation design perfected, but could be used only once … a little Kawasaki covered in stars and bars decals drove through the inaugural ribbon and sped into its billows … which immediately tore like a shirt tears from a wrestler … to me it feels like that motorcycle is still falling, but don’t tell that to the families of those who were canoeing through the bird sanctuary below instead of attending my ceremony; in any case, after some re-branding, my Piece de no Resistance reserved a lauded and celebrated spot in the Civil Engineering Hall of Fame as the first interstate tollway canape–it’s still there … you have to see it on the way to Mount Rushmore, faces long since replaced by the faces of stockbrokers, and constantly being updated … in five years they say they’ll bring in the Chinese guy who writes your name on a grain of rice (if he isn’t already busy, being a wound somewhere; but he is) … anyway, behold: 5 billion connected skins bustle and whorl with the upward trending winds that are … probably … centrifugally encouraged by the ever increasing central magnetism of the planet, wind which sometimes forms into tornadoes drawing vehicles into the endless teats of my overpass’s expanses of flat, deflated breasts and flinging the migrant seamstresses always sewing at the tears, clambering up and down it like pirates or ants, into the middle distance.
    That was the pinnacle. My friends. It grieves me to confess to you, my loyal customers: I have failed and failed again to raise my mark. After flying so high, all my subsequent achievements have without exception been ground down to sand by my pacing feet. My friends, my public, you for whom I continue … at the very least–to make every commute perilous, drive along obliviously, uncritical of being the undifferentiated recipients of less inspiring fatalities. My boulevard of song cruises witlessly, awaiting death. It would have not been a bad sophomore effort, but I paved it out in what should have been my prime, like some hack bushwacker.
    With my cul-de-sac of Buoyant Hearts, I fared only a little better: your vehicles still ricochet ceaselessly from each other, no U-turns, no escape, metal crushes passionately against metal, to the whimsical throb of your blood being shot out between your grinding bones, but I know where I stole all these ideas from … and aside from adding Ballard to bouncy castles and bumper cars, and all you riders’ desperate desire to turn around and get out, and the conflation of fun rides and reality, and the non-consent to inform the livers/players of their participation, I didn’t much improve life’s little masquerade.
    Bruised, and battered, but I told myself, Not bested, I attempted to rejuvenate my career by paying homage to the tropes of the past, while nodding to the values of the future: I plowed up my all-but-completed Lover’s Lane and replaced it with the Polyamourous Interchange of our Lady of Perpetual Isadora Duncanness … lined with skulls, all piked and presented, of the lovers and lonely hearts exchanging partners as they are garroted by the streams of star-lit scarves flying perilously behind between around and under all their convertibles. The Driver’s Safety Board lauded it and the Newspapers picked it up: Headline: Necking’s New Meaning. I loved the poetry of it, and have to give those writers a lot of credit for coming up with it at their post car-crash eulogies, but at the same time, something about reading it told me … it was to one-to-one … I’d stumbled at the finish; I could feel it in my guts. I fell into a funk.
    And stayed there, planning nothing.
    Until one day, the shotgun in my mouth whispered to me that being the first person in a decade to live long enough to commit suicide would be a national tragedy; Yeah yuh igh, Ohy heaah, ahho, I chimed in, Tha thuh ig iwoy o ua oo aich eyehe eah oul rui ay who’ eehey; What? whispered the shotgun, cocking its eyebrow, I didn’t understand that. I stopped fellating it and pulled it out of my mouth, and repeated: Yes, you’re right, Only Friend, also, the big irony of my non-traffic related death could ruin my whole legacy. Just one little tiny trigger. Could bring the whole thing crashing. That’s when I realized that I had been thinking too small. To jump-start myself I designed a new city, and built it around us. I fashioned it after the body and its nervous system; it is you, it is designed as your system, a system designed after our system … is it perfect? Leaving a residential parking space your car is fired from one of the city’s arterial branches into a pinball game, a game of chance, perhaps you are transported from axon to dendrite in neural spasms, perhaps a whole interchange shorts out, leaving all of you, my faithful motorists, cut off, frozen in the anti-electric charge of death, later to be tilted into the open graves which will eventually become the extra lanes of traffic we require to meet the needs of a burgeoning population of future traffic fatalities. Have you ever heard, This city is a drug? I said, I am a poet, I know when to be inspired. In my Addictive Thoroughfares, your cars are injected into the roads themselves to idle in euphoric jams until a vein of traffic bursts and infects the freeway with a carotid black scar pile-up. Everything is sensible, everything is intuitive: To get to the dump, just travel inwards: follow the digestive tract, call it Main Street, in through downtown, stop in the shopping districts so you can consume some things to get rid of at the dump, and then head on in through the first suburbs into the bowels of the old city, the city my city was built on; follow and follow and follow, the road gets windier; the sun stops shining; past the urban farms, past the livestock and crops grown in perpetual darkness, past the sad roadside carts of the indigenous population of insurance salesmen selling hedges and the gang members selling wheat, keep traveling in; you will travel in so far you reach the outskirts of my city; know it by the clouds of burning gas; by coming this far you have benefited the economy: the municipalities make their livelihood betting on which of you mortally anti-clutter activists may survive the random spastic acid eructations spurting from the terrifying exploding car washes of the lower intestine. If you get there. Population you.
    A way out (and out of sight) is paramount to the designs of any responsible urban planner. All blueprints are drawn up around the exit strategy. The people pour in through it without seeing it for what it is. The magnet of the highway draws us together, not to embrace, but into the tragedy of pre-plotted destinations, the certainty … of their fear and despair. The graves of arrival… The graves of certain arrival. Can only be stayed by the executing hand of metal rending sinew. The surprising crashing hand. That’s where I come in. And come in. And come in. For you, next to your commute, but hidden, I exile myself to my own Alley of Isolation, where no air leaks in, nor any other agent that might threaten to pollute my exhaust, and asphyxiation promises itself to me, born on the mounting fog of my own highly combustible pheromones. Soon I will reveal to you the ingenue of regurgitated architecture, my Gray Program; I have redesigned your suburbs out of your own waste and the waste of your children and forefathers, while you slept, I reached into your drains; my passion spills over, my cup, which I pour up around you, brimming with the redigested bile of the bland forms walls … and walls over walls and inside walls forms … you. I develop. I redevelop… Awake! Look out. Eyes formed from your own septic waste gaze upon a wasted city, built on a wasted plane, waste from waste, timeless, in a waste of space; undifferentiated pools of fat masses form en masse on weekends barbecuing each others’ ground organs … my gray cycling, and recycling; my program remains, self-perpetuating, almost limitless, almost as limitless as waste, and I, I am weary, but with a careless step … my desire to retire is eviscerated on the spires of my speeding churches careening down their lanes of knelling bells, and my respire it expires, and I am just roadkill on the highway to paradise.
    The streets went on. Claiming lives without me.


WORDS-LINKS: Corporate cannibal. My rules, you fools.

from Corporate Cannibal by Grace Jones, Adam Green, Ivor Guest, Mark Van Eyck.

The best thing about restructuring is staying alive.

from Whimsy by Tom Snarsky.

Anne Boyer

EXPLICATION

I am no expert on phenomenology or anything, only there is that problem of how to turn into body that which is okay as air. To “monetize” is to make spirit material. Blogger offers this service. Fiction implies intent, narrative structure, guiding intelligence – a lie is so often an error, an accident, a leaking self-protective fantasy. Character can mean at least two things here: good character (the poet’s lack of it), and character, as in a fictional construct. “Who needs” is surrender.

What I can’t have I often pretend that I don’t want. Dante is the Italian poet, and he is the only character the work requires because he sets the literary precedent for spiteful visions of love in semi-arduous forms. Because he is a great poet he can vouch for the author of this work: she is devoted to understanding but works from a kind of green chaos of circumstance. Often the poet thinks of the phrase “beau desordre” but has a difficult time finding out much about it because her French is poor. She turns the concept of lyric disarray.

She turns the concept of lyric disarray into a former lover. Though the poet suggested she didn’t need characters, she introduces one. The lover Bo might not even be named this anymore. This lover might be based on someone real, but I am afraid there is not much esteem here for the factories that manufacture odes. There is not actually a Prime Minister of America and America is not a city. The Prime Minister is in a play called Das Kapital. Cell phones are actually radiant. People use these phones as beacons and guides.

Why telecommunications are so important is an embarrassing secret. Why milk, not manna? Because my cell phone is not like money, it is like some sort of nourishing excretion when the right voice comes out the other side. The poet considers her literary works a symptom, a perseveration, a kind of anti-social insistence in repeating, again and again, what no one wants to hear – to her, then, all the poets are perseverating animals. Then there is the story of how the poet was writing and her daughter made an obvious statement: “Everything tastes better in a spoon.”

Everything tastes better in a spoon because it is a small measure. Then there is a small measure of quotation, the first line of Bernadette Mayer’s Eruditio ex Memoria. This has so much meaning, because Antonin Artaud is actually my doctor. But so is Bernadette Mayer. And, believe it or not, this project bears a certain resemblance to that project, except the entire history of Western Civilization is not written on paper but in the poet’s head. At this point the poet actually merges her lecture notes with the poem: I am tired of telling you lies.

Egon is a character in Ghost Busters, but also one of the poet’s lovers, one who left ringlets on the poet’s linoleum. The poet is so often making up absurd names for speculative cultural artifacts: she has a taste for westerns. She can’t be trusted because she has flights, goes off into her interior in which everything is corrupted by a habit of fancy. But to see the ringlets—the labor of love left for her—is to wake her up again, bring her back to reality or what someone in her lecture notes called “the petrified life.” There is some nonsense here. There is a hatred of the thesaurus. “The duty of the poet is to cheer up content providers and bore despots” is an allusion to Walt Whitman who wrote “The duty of the poet is to cheer up slaves and horrify despots.” Content providers are no more or less like slaves than anyone else. Despots remain despots. In this cosmology the despots are near to the natural men who assert their free expression over everything though the natural men are often only despots in miniature.

She keeps repeating herself. She keeps quoting country songs no one knows. She makes these technology references like Bluetooth and reference to things like streets and boulevards and maps and city planning like she has gone into a trance and come back as a global positioning system. But the streets are sexual because they are a place for display and Bluetooth is sexual because it allows people and their machines to hook up to one another. Don’t you understand anything? This is a poem about sex / this is a poem about work / this is a poem about information and the hollowed life.

 WORDS-LINKS: The recipe tonight. A spoonful of madness

EN PANNE

de Denis LHomme

Le cerveau est tombé de la calebasse. Toute la noix de coco s’est dissipée dans le sol et lui l’incapable n ’a pas pu réactionner sa bobine. La bobine a glissé sur le sable en emportant l’enfant d’une journée laborieuse. Pourquoi promenait-il sa volonté dessous son bras gauche? Il nous l ’expliquera bientôt à condition qu’on le laisse tourner et retourner sur lui-même comme une toupie endormie à l’intérieur. L’ amour ne veut plus du monde, il s’ en écarte pour laisser parler une plainte infinie qui lui a traversé sa planète. Et depuis tout souffre de panne! Sauf le bébé qui aime et compte sur son maman. Je suis ce mal à ma tête…

WORDS-LINKS: BRAIN SCATTERS ITSELF

PEOPLE STARING AT MENUS

by Amanda Ackerman

Oh my dear ones: the snow in the underwater city.  The snow, formed from seawater, the way it fell on the coral beds.  We shoveled the water.  You should have seen it because I cannot describe it.  Even if I were to tell you the story it would not matter because we live when all stories compete with each other for dominance and attention.   We live when all jobs are as tedious and repetitious as all other jobs despite differences in earnings and position.  They lured us out of the underwater city with promises of food and work.  Powerful incentives.  I did not want to leave but you are in trouble if you cannot function in the present day even if you are asked to give up too much.  Blood.  Culture.  Genealogy.  Beliefs.  Snow made of seawater falling on a “shifting mosaic” of corals and sea plants.  In the underwater city we played instruments resembling harps and clapper sticks.  I promised I would not describe this.  Now I am very conscious of myself as a person and see myself as that principally. We began to divide our time between land and sea.  We stopped using our bodies the way they were meant.   The sea beds were erupting crags the plumes of see-through jellyfish: no I promised I wouldn’t.  There is always the story of how we came to reside in this particular place.  Of course we split.  It was like scraping cells out of one’s own body.  It became impossible to get to the beach to fish.  After a day of regulated repetitive work we would order takeout and go down to the river to eat it.  I did not mind being hungry.   Actually I kind of liked it.  Feuding, trespassing, poaching, warring.  There were new settlements.   I never divorced her: she simply disappeared.  We wouldn’t have qualified for a divorce anyways with these new laws.  To justify a divorce a woman needed to be barren or an adulterer and a man had to be abusive or fail to support his family.   I became a craftsman.  I joined a guild.  Nature is cruel.  We can’t be too romantic about nature.  But I did believe there was a moral order to the universe.  If there are two conflicting stories – you have to find the balance between them.  Better to survive in the world.  Better to survive even in these new emerging economies.  Better to learn how to speak the language so we can tell you.  I became a food writer.  I liked to preview a menu in advance.  I didn’t like surprises.  We lived in a time when we could look anything up.  Just the other day I needed to know what “samphire” is [it’s a salty tasting garnish usually growing along the British coast].  This is a story that has multiplied thousands of times over the past century.  More billowing proclamations.  The sun went down – and on this particular evening I decided to walk home from work instead take the rail.  Had I become ugly?  Had it been too long since anyone told me I wasn’t?  Was that it for me?

WORDS-LINKS: STERILIZATION,

HUMANS ARE WELL DISCIPLINED FROM,

SEAWATER

WITHOUT TOUCHES

by Urban Belina

Photographer Radovan Čok.
Photographer Radovan Čok.

Even when you came, on what ever occasion, there was a Name. And we danced, if only between words squeezed out of two intra-spaces, from the within, where nothing is. And we danced (talked) and we danced (talked even more). And my world transpired and tried to taste yours and we danced, it was still transpiring and curving, and we danced, we danced nevertheless even though there were no touches and worlds were curving back into self, in front, from side in and out, and the hum of words was bending language, and we continued dancing even though we had no words for touch, even if there was no site between all spaces, even if the world was bending, and the world was bending, these two spaces never really touched and we remained alone in the intra-spaces where nothing is. And we danced. Word was running and running, was high-spirited and glorified, we despised it this word. It could not give us a look in the eyes, it could not bend us so that one could be touched, seeing the glow in the colour of other one’s eyes. Did you long to be a word; caressing the touch of dream? Did I long to be a hum that would give the word the wooden roughness of a maladroit touch of two rugged membranes of worlds? And language danced, trying to penetrate into one experience before oneness. And we danced (talked). At times it seemed like one world managed to stretch the world membrane just enough, one could hear soundless resonance of crackle of two leathery skins rubbing: coarse, warm and strident. And still, there were too few. Too few words, lots of words reside in languages, yet still they are not numerous enough when I long to be touched. And we danced. And words were dancing in a ring, the magical chant was long forgotten and you forgot how to call it to life. So all we could do was to dance (to talk). Intra-spaces were numerous, they are countless, yet still I find myself alone in every single one, even if I see many thoughts touching one of the countless intra-spaces of dreams, oblivion or no-time.

Photographer Maja Uplaznik Pantar.
Photographer Maja Uplaznik Pantar.

Always alone. And we danced. And there was water. And sun. And images of oblivion and no-return. And circle. And we danced. But my water did not know your water-state. And my fire was closer to your sun, whilst my sun was shinning on the wind of your trees, yet never reached the trees as such. And we danced, whirled (talked and chitchatted). And there was river, a living river. We both knew it. My river was filled with wateR; your river was filled with water. Yet water is not the same in my world, as it is not the same in any of the countless inter-space visions, each has different water. And my water never met your water and your water shall never bathe me. It seems it would be nice to swim in the river we both know, filled with your water.

But I would more likely manage to swim on smoothed boulders of dried out riverbed, than find your water: words, words, dancing never show the way to your water although I know the way to the river, the water is not to be found. I often go to the river. I often long to swim in your water, yet I always find water known to me, there is never an unknown one there. I had met many waters, I encounter many, yet yours remained and shall remain hidden, the magic charm had been forgotten. I might come to your water when you will come. And you will not forget the word without words any more. And dance; the memory of dance remains (Speaking had once been). Worlds still try to stretch out residing in such expansion that I lost myself within my world and you lost yourself within yours. The world of singularity was supposed to exist because of one person. How could it happen that we both, me and you, got lost in the space of individual world? And I got lost. And you got lost. And the world continues to expand driven by its own volition separated from my volitions and wishes, under the pretext of the mission it had emancipated and is now trying to conquer space, time and word that gives primordial creation. And it conquers words, word after word it is conquering language and more it is becoming his, this language, less it is mine. And more it is becoming his, less power it has to expand. But it does not notice any more, I haven’t noticed and you haven’t noticed that the word, which once had been the source of all creation, now de-creates, destroys, gnaws through.  It sucks power, the word, which is too expanded and used up, emptied out and now takes power, my power, your power, power of the world, that still vainly expands in undefined directions; in self-moving try it extorts closeness, you say touch and the word touch takes the magic and power of touching away. It still wants to touch the other world and always as it comes close, the other world arbitrarily expands to the other direction of space. And my water keeps flowing in my river and your water peacefully rustles where I can not see it, where I can not touch. And worlds conquer time and space and language, they are learning of  sense, growing, living, and all they long for is one single coarse moment of touch, not longing for eternal unity, not longing for hieros gamos, they only wish to feel one fleeting skim on the random point of endless membrane of longing. Sometimes I seem to hear, at least for a moment, the rustling crunch of touching, it seems the worlds had made it. Yet it is just the rustling of used up thoughts of my world, sadly jumping into the River of Oblivion, desperate, emptied, bled white, sucked out by word, abused by language, giving up and for a goodbye resounding only a replica of the thing the whole immense world is tending to. Resounding only a sound approximate of the touching incident, born out of longing for touch with another world, then betrayed, worn out and humiliated, call the last crackle for goodbye and rebound to oblivion.

Photographer Radovan Čok.
Photographer Radovan Čok.

I am thinking of your water and of your fire, and my sun shines still only on the wind that sways crowns of your trees which are surrounded only by the shine of your sun. Maybe your thoughts are crackling also, desperate and alone? You may be lost in your world that exceeded its own purpose and now exists only for existing, and you wander around fragments of a world too vast in search of your own pieces, thoughts that used to be you, meeting with images that had elongated and had been mutilated to such a degree that they have become unrecognisable. And you are thinking of my wind, my sun, the glimmer of my water, thinking of all what will never become yours and keep longing without touches.

WORDS-LINKS: Alice looked up the glass eye of the microscope and saw another eye.

NOTE

Translated from slovenian by Urban Belina.

UNPROTESTING FLAVOURLESS TONGUES

by Ed Garland

Hello he drooled – wet flurry of bland magic clutching tremendous whatever below a lot of and-thens – a row of soggy tufts above the idea of doing something. Some strenuous tomorrows later we flat-mouthed see-you-arounds.

ASHES

by Harold Abramowitz

I took a walk in the alley. I turned, thinking that I would see you standing next to me. It

was funny. I thought there was going to be a fight. I wanted to ask you a question. I put

my hands out. I thought about a million different things at one time. I took another long

walk. I tried to find something that I’d lost on the ground. I was certain that something

was going to happen. But what was going to happen? I kind of needed to know. I put

my hands out. You were growing up very quickly. It was a brand new day. I put my

hands out. I had to keep still. It was a more or less ordinary day. There was nothing

special about the day, at that point. I looked up and down the street. I tried to get a good

idea of where I was standing. I wanted to ask you a question. It was morning. We took

a walk and talked to each other. I was going to ask you a question right before you

started talking to me. I put my hands out. Unexpectedly, I had to steady myself. I stood

on the street, near the alley. I put my hands out. We stood very near the alley. There

was something I wanted to say to you. I put my hands out. The day was cold. I put my

hands out. It was a golden morning. It was going to be a very beautiful day. You put

your hands out. I stood on the street, right next to the alley. I wore a long coat. I asked

you how long you had lived in that part of the city. You could see me from where you

were sitting on the couch in the living room. I had waited a long time for just the right

moment. In fact, it was a perfect opportunity. I put my hands out. I asked you a

question. I was able to keep very still, at that point. There was something I wanted to

ask you about. I put my hands out. The morning was cold. I stood in the alley and

waited for you to come home.

~

It was funny. It was like I could hear everything you were thinking, at that point. I

turned and told you that it was like I could hear everything you were thinking. It was

funny. I put my hands out. I looked at the sky. We knew each other very well, at that

point, I thought. It was funny. We sat on the chairs in the garden. There was a song

playing on the radio. I asked you if I could come over. I wanted to come over. It was

funny. I was still not quite awake. I wondered what we were going to do that evening. It

was funny. I liked the song that was playing on the radio. It was funny. We were

thinking exactly the same thing at the same time. And I could have said just about

anything I wanted to, at that point. I was feeling a little bit frustrated. There was

something I wanted to ask you about. I put the music out of my mind. There were very

many things we needed to discuss. I looked around the room. I wanted to ask you a

question. It was a very nice day. The day outside was very bright. I could see you from

where I was standing in the hall. I put my hands out. It had been a very long day. It was

funny. It was getting later and later, at that point. I was feeling a little bit frustrated. I

wanted to ask you a question. It was going to be a beautiful day. There was something I

wanted to ask you about. I put my hands out.

~

I was waiting for you. It was a bright and beautiful morning. I put my hands out. I was

going to say. I was going to tell you. There was something big coming on the horizon.

You wanted to ask me a question. If I were to wake up early enough in the morning to

eat breakfast, I thought. I could see that we were not going to get a lot done that day. I

put my hands out. The sun rose over the canyon. It was a question of privacy, at that

point. There was a bird in the tree in the garden. I saw that it was going to be a very

beautiful day. There was much to think about. There were very many things to consider,

at that point. I put my hands out. I put my shoes on. I could see you from where I was

standing in the hall. I couldn’t hear myself think. I wanted to ask you a question. I put

my hands out. I was sure that the world was going to explode, at that point. I was sure

that there was going to be explosions and hands and arms flailing. And this was the

world, I thought. It was a real part of me, too, I thought. It was like I was standing in a

corner. I was not going to let myself think of anything more important than that, I

thought. I put my hands out. Yet I was in charge of that moment of the day as surely as I

was in charge of anything else, I thought. Like I was in a circle. I couldn’t believe in a

cloud, though. Could you believe in a cloud? I wanted to ask you a question. I was

feeling a little bit frustrated. I put my hands out. We were never wrong. You said as

much, too. You said that it had been a long day, and that we only ever made matters

worse. It was funny. I wished that I had a plum, something healthier than what I had

been eating, for breakfast, at that point. The summer was going to be warm and

beautiful, I thought.

~

It was going to be a very beautiful day. I put my hands out. It was summer. If I looked

across the canyon, at that point, I might see a million little boats in the sky, I thought.

You said that you were not going to complain, that complaining only made matters

worse. I only asked that things be kept in good order, I said. Everything was going to

happen in due time, I thought. There was no question of running late, of making a mess,

you said. It would not have occurred to me to challenge the way we were doing things, at

that point. You sat on the chair in the kitchen. I put my hands out. The sun shone

brightly in the sky. It was a brand new day. I wondered what we were going to do that

evening. It was funny. The day was brand new. I looked across the canyon. There was

definitely something new in the air, I thought. It was summer, a brand new season. The

sun shone brightly above the canyon. There was definitely something new in the air, I

thought. I wanted to ask you a question. I put my hands out. You wanted to ask me a

question. There was a song playing on the radio. I put my hands out. I was in the house.

The day was going well, at that point. Things were going well, in general, I thought, at

that point. I felt good. I pointed my finger at the sky. I wanted to ask you a question. I

put my hands out.

~

The sun rose over the canyon. You stopped what you were doing and asked me a

question. I thought that I’d put my best foot forward, at that point. I put my hands out. It

was going to be a very beautiful day. In the meantime, time was going by very quickly, I

thought. I could have done a lot of things differently, at that point, I thought. I took the

ring off my finger. I had begun to look at the canyon in a very different way. You said

that you agreed with the way I felt about the canyon, at that point. It was going to be a

very beautiful day. I put my hands out. I wanted to ask you a question. I looked at the

scar on my stomach. I could see you from where I was standing in the hall. You were

something of a fixture in that town. It was hard to think of asking you to move, at that

point. However, I took the coward’s way out. I was feeling a little bit frustrated. I felt

good. I was in the middle of the house. It was a brand new day. I took another long

walk. I pointed the shovel at the ground. You smiled at me. It had been a very nice day

all around the canyon. It was a brand new day. You looked at me. It was like the very

first day all over again, like the world was brand new. However, I was concerned that

you might have felt a little bit   trapped, at that point. It was a brand new day. I wanted to

ask you a question. We drove the car to the edge of the canyon. I put my hands out.

NOTE

DELAY

by Dimitra Ioannou

There must be one  –  sometimes it’s accidental  –  sometimes it’s precocious  –  must be one  –  like all things necessary.

To get help –  to find out what happened  –  some days better, some days worse  –  so many inexplicable.

And yesterday even less  –  if facts are false –  it’s likely to start today.

That whisper before the elbow.

Will be close  –  it will be calculated in application  –  the way it always happens  –   of short duration .

It will be quiet – in 24 hours  –  at least a little more –  the slightest use –  and other possibilities.

Any help is precious  –  there are lots of unlesses –  like all the rest.

That whisper, a few times a day.

And then it will be exactly the same  –  and then it’s too late  –  it’s a bit slow –  most likely.

There will be an  inversion  –  in whatever position  –  seemingly insignificant.

That whisper behind the forehead.

Not to hear  –  not to hear anything  –  they shrivel – with small bites –  in a few seconds of absorption  –  on the same straight line.

That cavity and that cavity  –  on a return move past the lobe, the neck, the collar bone  –  kind of silenced.

That reaction on the skin.

The eyes are getting wet  –  with  rawness –  with raw tenderness  –  that particular silence  –  in continuing.

I have you in my mouth and if I spoke now, if I said all the things that I haven’t said until now, my words would not transcend the tongue.  These parentheses.  That enclose, isolate, pull tight.  You are included in their opening and closure.  That mouth with no organs.  That becomes appetite,  excessive secretion, rejection. There’s hardly any sense.  The words become saliva, a series of vowels, wet vowels that are flooding; imperatively, and you raise yourself slightly.  And what happens now, happens from mouth to mouth.  That correspondence.  That complexity.

IN MY KITCHEN. . .

by Antonis Katsouris

On the door of my refrigerator colored
magnetic letters form once again
Robert Indiana’s LOVE.

*

Cress, curry, coriander
and oregano, salt, and white pepper,
chili, clove and cinnamon.

*

With the coffee filters, the ashes,
the withered flowers, I throw in the trash
your farewell letter too.

*

On the fried breakfast egg,
my yellow heart, and all around my
slightly burnt white fate. . .

*

And Mary, who is drunk again, fixes
her lipstick while holding the kitchen knife
as a real mirror.

*

I look again for something to cook for us
at Betty Crocker’s recipe book “Just the Two of Us”
and I expect you for dinner. . .

*

And the faucet is leaking and leaking
to remind me of the small repairs
that I need to make in my life. . .

*

I look at the dirty dishes of our failed
tête-à-tête … For the last time, I say to myself,
before I begin to wash them. . .

*

The housewife’s vanity;
to rise to the occasion, wearing
my favorite apron.

*

On the table a still life with fruit,
flowers and two magazines to remind me of
Wolfgang Tillmans; or, perhaps, Jack Pierson?

*

I place two ice cubes into your drink
and I melt as they melt thinking of you
in the next room…

*

I’m looking at my collection of
twelve different plates and I think
I’ve found the most beautiful…

*

(in my kitchen
I always know
who I am. . .)

APRIL MINIATURES

(Soft Paganism, Anthesteria and Lies)

by Antonis Katsouris

On her new dress,
one flooded by yellow polka dots
and green motifs,
there stands like a crazy
powdered April Pierrot,
one and only,
the mimosa.

*

A young man of 30 Aprils, presentable and well-off,
wishes to meet
a young lady of 20-25 Mays, presentable.

*

April is the real esthete of the calendar. A faithful servant and keeper of Beauty he is exclusively interested in blossoming (an esthetic value) and completely ignores fruit-bearing (a moral value). For 30 days he sets the tone and the decor by attending to the wallpapers of Paradise, the carpets of Eden, and the ephemeral glory of the Flora. A nocturnal esthete also, April spends his evenings close to the fire burning rare copies of The Portrait of Dorian Gray and secretly reading Psyche (1898) by Louis Couperus.

*

(folklore)
When the gold thread is unravelled
and the rites of April have begun…
When we bury our clothes under the big tree
and our lives are caught together in the spider’s web…
Then I’ll know that our love has become
bigger and stronger.

*

A walk in the garden of April
along with the drunken insects…
And suddenly,
in the heart of a clearing
the back of a headless marble statue,
with two divine buttocks
looking at you straight in the eyes…
Venus or Apollo?
Apollo or Venus?

*

April from the latin word aprilis, contracted from aperilis, which indicates a beginning (perhaps with no end…). On April 1st witticisms and lies become de rigueur and the person who gets deceived gets the title of April Fool.

*

Half hidden, at the garden’s edge,
an  April violet
is winking at me.*

*

April…
And the circus (punctual as always)
has come once again to our little town.
We went on Saturday
and there, for the first time,
we saw a live orgasm up close.
It was very big and dangerous
and it was locked in a cage,
with gold letters on the door reading
Orgasmus Orgismenus.
It scared us all.
And at least it was worth
its full share of
our applause…

*

April’s secret love is yellow… Rare in nature, and occupying only one-twentieth of the light spectrum, yellow is the brightest colour and has April as a patron saint. It is only he who spreads it in abundance wherever he may pass, fulfilling his esthetic duties and ornamenting his lies… Since this is how he sets his traps, tricking and deceiving insects, birds, animals, and people, or even Satan himself – who famously loves to swim in yellow – the utmost (boy? girl?) of the out-of-tune chorus of April Fools.

*

How I would love
to leave
my last breath
amidst the wildflowers
of April…
(pretending)

*

It’s getting dark in the forest and the wise owl gives me its oracle: “Don’t let any temporary setback worry you. Shed any inhibition and follow your inclination – the only guarantee of fulfilling your wishes and aspirations. From April a new, leafy path-without-end will guide you. Follow it.»

*

Lusty, fresh, wet, and excited from the relentless ecstasy around him, April is constantly aroused and comes… comes… comes… without ever finishing. Like a happy Priapus enjoying his protracted erection and adorning it with flower garlands, April will end in May or even June, extinguished by an overdose of sun – without actually knowing if his orgasm came from a masturbation, a fellatio, a penetration (or maybe something else?).

*

An April afternoon
and the smell of carnations is
so delightful, so exciting,
that its flip-side
couldn’t be anything
more than
an unconstrained sneeze…

*

Back in those years, every April, women from good families, shepherdesses and shepherds, handsome adolescents, and young devotees of Diana (see virginity), would rush to hide in fear… To protect themselves this way from the divine rage of Zeus and his gang who would storm down from Mount  Olympus to indiscriminately chase males and females for a quick fling. The female victims of this sexual harassment  would usually bear demigods and new, wonderful creatures and species. As for the boys and girls that dared refuse the gods, so much the worse for them… Since they would invariably spend the rest of their lives transformed into a tree, a bush, or even a beautiful April flower.

*

Who knocks? That April-
Lock the Door-
I will not be pursued-
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied-**

*

The perfume shop Mon Avril recommends:
Eau de Camille by Annick Goutal,
Vanities by Penhaligon’s,
Apres l’ Ondee by Guerlain,
Magnolia Nobile by Acqua di Parma,
Michelle by Balenciaga
(and for every hour) Bouquet Imperial by Roger & Gallet.

*

*Words by Daphne (a tenant of Hotel Women).
**Extract from poem 1320 by Emily Dickinson.