ago Mutability Issue


Night by night, I find myself a little more or a little less mutable.
Now now. Pause. The outside melts on the inside.
A poem based on movements and migrations of people across borders.
Trajectories, diseases, and dance language.
The rain ciphers. Rituals morph.
Bodies might become nebulae or verses, and notes.

You will find all these mutations, their moments, phases, imprints, sensations, and nuances to the brilliant works of Louisa Doloksa, David Felix, Amy McCauley, John Morgan, Maria Petrides, Lauren Samblanet, Erica Schreiner, Shakeema Smalls, and Jenny Wu. Many thanks for making this fascinating issue on Mutability.


Dimitra Ioannou


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.



Bell rung


David Felix is an English visual poet who lives in Denmark. For fifty years or so his writing has taken on a variety of forms, in collage, three dimensions, in galleries, festival performances and video and in over thirty publications worldwide, both print and online. Born into a family of artists, magicians and tailors he still maintains a professional working relationship with a life model, the materializing lady and a fitting assistant.


Libido Fever

do you love me enough to ruin my life & / or lay me out
sparingly I / my desire only increases not mine you said I had to
grieve so I will do my best but / I want to happen like there’s no
such thing as repetition or / [did we really love without asking
whether we knew how not to hurt / who hurt / who knows each
other & / or oneself who / knows] // pause // but tell me why do
you dance & who are you dancing for [shut up you sleaze
okay / okay / okay] // pause // I took care , you see , to fill my
life with such miserable intimacies I didn’t feel what / well /
appalled at what / [who] / how I did but did I ever know desire
until now [look , it’s only grief dressed up in gladrags & how it
parades its stench of meats & spills the double-backed bedbeast
verily steaming down its plinth! I / I should really send you a
long way away you poor incendiary thing o , a thing to hold on
to like pleasure] // pause // now I shhh tread softly to the
downbelow devices & trawl your extant hungry smudges in the
bawled-all-over & trembling [o , the traps you set for my
cheapness / such is the failure of sincerity o , & the parapet of
your affect!] // pause // now / now / now the curtain rises & all
your dreams go public on a million infamous nobodies [you
must not cry / it is forbidden to cry] & may this wanting you
stop / never stop but Christ how lonely the living are in the
early faces dawn talking god / soaps / war & all privacy is
theft / against your will / my will / nothing like life // pause //
why won’t you come home & give me your love-diseases

without which not

the time I let my mouth out was a very bad time & in some
things Ma had a point but god knows she made that point with
an aggregate rage like / rage was a matter of fact thing or the
raft she clung to or the ultimate state of existence & / yes
according to her I had no business with things like feelings & in
that respect hers was a hit & run love or a bloody oil & knuckle
affair or // pause // a wound yes if anything Ma was a wound
the kind I was going to say that “keeps on giving” but can a
wound give / well if it gives I suppose it secretes which is
another way of saying displays & conceals for what is a Ma but
an impeccable mystery or allegory or // pause // the perpetual
suggestion of some unmentionable thing & its simultaneous
withholding or the answer to a question she devises under her
film which discharges / seeps / expels / oozes & if only this
weren’t the morning after the lifetime before & if only
the mouth weren’t a very bad time but it gives o yes it / gives but
when I say gives do I really mean takes & when I say wound do
I really mean // pause // & it helps to know what things are like
if only to feel the gap in the middle like // pause // simile were
an infinite generator of wounds / secretions / rages & the more
she takes the more she gives & what is a wound but that which
cannot wound itself

Amy McCauley works as Editor of Creative Response for the feminist visual arts website MAI Journal. She is interested in trans-genre writing, auto-frictions and feminisms. Amy’s first collection of poetry ‘Oedipa’ will be published by Guillemot Press in 2018.


John Morgan Ararats Gaze

John Morgan’s poems offer a visual engagement with real, imagined or received experience of landscape, place, identity and myth. His writing often responds in situ to the works of other writers and artists, as well as to the land itself and how it receives and ‘writes’ the identity of the person moving through it. His poems have appeared in a glimpse of, The Learned Pig and Reliquiae, but are mostly published on his own website, Visual [writ]/read/[/ing/]:


beyond             da ta

and the mile is smooth
like the Ionian sky

turquoise and
as the wind whistles
spring from the
searing seawater.
there to here, a
cornering line of
british barbed wire
bears vestiges of the
perforated ermou

from UN wire to
unwiring this
naturalised protection
at any rate between
mili(tarrying) jets
flying low
moderate alerts
lying on car windows

autographed by the sovereign
authorities of akrotiri


i smile

airport and subway
post 9/11

interposing my
freedom to choose
how i perceive

a US’s DHS’s

racial profiling
criminalising Muslims
guilty until feigning they are guilty
immigrants and refugees
now attacked by smart enforcement
protection into
racism, islamophobia
we resist
and reverse fear
into tools
of emanating
empowerment, of

barbed fences
hem in and tear
Kurds, Trans Turks, Sex Workers, Roma, Immigrants
tarlabaşı’s communities
from neighbourging beyoğlu.

military tanks anchored in
the central quarter away from the boulevard
demarcating land and air
as buildings are demolished
and denizens evicted.
i’m arrested by the
the gross capital
eating through Istanbul’s
zoned city
barging into
human bodies
reduced to human waste.

where am i,
traversing the caveat
new york
rio de janeiro
the kingdom
stamboul or cyprus.

king’s cross’
marks & spencer
a luggage is
lugged and
left erect,
the onliest
an eye-ray
to its owner.
the queue
by the
grunt of a brash
6-foot frigid


the traveler incriminated
dropped the
pret a manger something
on the fridge’s shelf
in flight for vanishing.
the freedom to suspect
is new law!

in october last
chronic coup in brasil
stumped its macho
neo-lib fist over
pardo and preto
poor and public
slashing subsidies
social education.
over a thousand schools
across brasil were
frenzied and resolved
to oust temer.
the 1%
public parasites are
for a temer.
Bea Camila
Andressa Clarice Felipe
Joao Pedro Vitor Joaquim
and mucho others
occupied the colégio
estadual monteiro de
santa teresa
for 7 months.
in the mean time
working computers never accessed
libraries of fortune in archives dug away
were spotted
on the floor
above the ground level
to which students were
confined when they
were (not)

it breezed from the west.
what’s imminent in
every short moment ()
which terrorist, thief
or muscle?
In a flickering movement beyond,
twinkling vagary
emanates from an
azure at hand.

smile again,
a single smile
this time.
she flaps her wings
as i hum the ladybird away,

and she heads farther
to that military base.

Maria Petrides (b.1973, UK) is an independent writer, editor and translator. She has contributed to magazines/anthologies & art publications. She has participated as writer in residencies in NYC, Nicosia, Istanbul, Helsinki, Rio de Janeiro, Geneva, and curated/coordinated for Gowanus Studio Space, NYC, depo, Istanbul & The Breeder, Athens. She’s translator of Wow, a political comic book by Ariadni Kousela, Patakis Publishers & co-translator of Bill Ayers’, To Teach the Journey, in Comics, contributing author for the collection, A Book of Small Things & assistant editor for Evripides Zantides’, Semiotics: Visual communication II, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.   

Η Μαρία Πετρίδη (γενν.1973, Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο) είναι ανεξάρτητη συγγραφέας, επιμελήτρια κειμένων & μεταφράστρια. Κείμενα της έχουν δημοσιευτεί σε περιοδικά/ανθολογίες & εκδόσεις τεχνών, έχει συμμετάσχει ως συγγραφέας σε residencies στη ΝΥ, Λευκωσία, Κων/πολη, Ελσίνκι, Ρίο Ντε Τζανέιρο, Γενεύη και έχει επιμεληθεί/συμμετείχει σε εκθέσεις στο Gowanus Studio Space, ΝΥ, το DEPO, Kων/πολη και The Breeder, Aθήνα. Είναι μεταφράστρια του πολιτικού κόμικ «Wow» της Χρύσας Ariadni Κουσελά, Εκδόσεις Πατάκη, συν-μεταφράστρια του «To να διδάσκεις, Το ταξίδι σε κόμικς» του Bill Ayers, και συγγραφέας στο A Book of Small Things ενώ είναι βοηθός επιμελήτρια του «Semiotics: Visual communication II» του Ευριπίδη Ζαντίδη.

Lauren Samblanet

From poltergeist residues: rituals for traumatic hauntings

Please click here to read: i. hive

lauren samblanet is a recent graduate of temple university’s mfa program. her poems have been published in a shadow map: an anthology by survivors of sexual assault, queen mob’s teahouse, the vassar review, walkabout and adanna. a dance-radio collaboration with skye hughes was published on colorado public radio’s website and her writings about dance can be found on


Erica Schreiner is an experimental video and performance artist, writer and poet based in New York City. Originally from Oregon, Erica received a BS in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Portland. Erica attended the School of Visual Arts Lens and Screen Art’s Residency Program. She also studied under the direction of performance artist, Marina Abramović at MoMA PS1, where Marina Abramović, Erica Schreiner, and 11 other performance artists shared a final performance.

Erica Schreiner has completed more than 60 performative video art pieces using a VHS video recorder, including Satori, a feature length film. She’s created music videos for: Soft Metals, Reba Hasko, JF Robitaille, The Crash Engine, and American Anymen, and Fierro Ex Machina.

Erica’s work has shown at the Bill Hodges Gallery in NYC. She been a regular contributor to Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio and has curated the SHOWstudio blog.

Erica published two books of short stories under her label, Analog Cinema. Hellos & Goodbyes (2009) and Arrows (2015) Illustrated by Nyssa Frank. Erica has written several zines, and can regularly be seen performing with the poetry community in NYC. Mad Gleam Press will release her debut novella entitled: The Greatest History of Life by the end of the year (2017). Also scheduled is a collection of poetry entitled: The Plastic Sea (Blue Pear Projects, 2017).


bushwick, 2017.


you walk out of the house
face painted in childhood murals
always RIP & 40oz. altars.
now hype spots for tourists
who, in derangement,
turn your shrines into
neighborhood character.

the home listings read:
‘Wonderful place to raise our kids’
‘Nice place to take a shower in the sunlight’

you wonder
if people still wash their asses outdoors
& whether the children are okay.

there will always be memorials.


the first boy.
    he had to be told
    that pussy don’t smell
    like burnt weave
    & old sunflower seeds.

    it’s 2nd quarter
    he knows how to
    weave cord
    keychains & twist
    outs. they beat
    him till he had
    chainlink tattoos.


which negro spiritual
do we sing at yt cookouts
when faced with
polenta &
textured vegetable protein
speculatively cooked
in discarded pork fat?

certain that there exists
a word
for wading out too far.
not drowning. but integral
integrity integration
ingratiation inflammation
inoculation irradiation



I was at Plymouth Rock in 89
N heard all the banter
Right from the stage of
A basehead’s uterine lining.
I been a snitch since 88,
My eyes on the scuff marks
Of her sneakers
Legs way up in the air
And bowed in not-so-first love.

Primero, my father says.
Silly men do have strange memories.
But I was there
When the ship bumped
And the shit went down
N so when I talk about history, kid
You need to listen.
You got this game for free.

you got a lot

of people
fucking for ten-fold blessings.

in a manner of speaking,
every prosperity gospel
Is attuned to the saints
that deconstructed it.
mass media-in-res
hearings at the Throne
too many questions

our lord wonders
how a nation of men
comes to covet itself.

looking down upon us
children of the fallen
in all our prayers,
the smell of our

early morning tongues
braising the ears
of our protectors.
a holy ringing.

all of our kings
backpedal softly
across the chests
of our children
braided rugs,
& self-loathing.

we never answer our blessings.
our shoes become untied
every step
towards the father,

liniments of verse
charted across our arms in vegetable ink
& trap soul discographies.

waiting to bury our rulers,
we got a lot
of hellish dreams
& purple hearts.


hardest stuff to let go.

gonna wake
in a tub full of ice
knees bent for the day
veins shrunken &
no more of your juice
can be had. when,
perhaps, cold isn’t cold
you begin
to miss daylight
your daddy
hollers off
the building stoop
you must need
on your head.
no more. but
you are turning kind
of blue. as if
you are getting younger
& less memorable
& now, you are
your mother’s space.
she carried you
light years before
her whole body
convulsed in withdrawal
but there was no solace
& you had to come
& die proper
in your sleep.
you dreamed so many
of laying into flesh
with everything, ceased
lights no longer burning
your eyes. the last time
you made a wish
on a star.

Shakeema Smalls is a writer from Georgetown, SC by way of Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in Tidal Basin Review, Kweli Journal, The Fem, Blackberry: A Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Free Black Space, Sugared Water, Vinyl Poetry & Prose, and Muse, with upcoming work in Pittsburgh Poetry Review and Radius. 




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.


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


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.


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


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.


“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.


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.”
           “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.