The 2 issue | intro

Double, doubly, doubled, two of which,
dual, twice, bilingual,
two paragraphs, two columns, two collaborators,
Schylla’s mantissa’s glowed motes
a diptych, two sources,
two gestures, both, dual, twice,
two phantasies,
I want a piece of you.
Yes, I really do.

the self and the environment,
I cross the bridge but my body hasn’t caught up
two gestures, both, dual, twice
two selves and two relatives,
The fragmented self’s fragmentations exhaustively examined.
two notebooks, two lovers,
and A) GLIMPSE) OF) TWO.

Many thanks to Fatma Al Ali, Logan Benedict, Catherine Chen, Maria Damon, Alan Sondheim, Mike Foldes, Maria Georgoula, Ian Whitfield, Diana Manesi, Sara Matson, Kat Meads, Lindsay Parkhowell, Zoe Sklepa,Tom Snarsky, and Adam Strauss for their brilliant works.

ENJOY!
Dimitra Ioannou

Fatma Al Ali

MOVE; now



Fatma Al Ali 1

Fatma Al Ali 2

Fatma Al Ali 3

Fatma Al Ali 4

Fatma Al Ali 5



‪’MOVE; now’ is a series of photographs that investigates the relation between the self and the environment, often times you find yourself surrounded by an environment that is hindering your growth and forcing you to be in a position that you know if you stay any longer you will lose the essence of yourself, and it makes you decay with the loss of movement. ironically, in this series of photographs the sculptural object is placed in water that is a substance considered to be the source of life and growth. what might be perceived by others as growth inducing can also be a reason to drown and suffocate. ‬



Fatma Al Ali (b.1994) received her bachelors degree in Fine Arts from the university of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 2018. her work often questions ideas of materiality of an object, Contradictions in terms of fragility and delicacy. She has joined multiple group exhibitions both locally and internationally.

Logan Benedict


Sometimes the low is the high


2 | Logan Benedict | sometimes the low is the high (1)

Water in the engine


2 | Logan Benedict | Water in the engine

Reactive wilderness


2 | Logan Benedict | Reactive wilderness



Logan Benedict was born in Newark, Delaware in 1997. He will be receiving his Associate’s Degree in Communications from Delaware Technical Community College in 2018. Benedict’s work has been exhibited at the Milton Theater in Milton, Delaware, the Vancouver Arts & Leisure in Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as three shows at the Gibby Center in Middletown, Delaware. His work has been featured in publications such as Catapult Magazine and in The Wire Newspaper. In 2016, Benedict published his first book in partnership with Amazon.com through CreateSpace, titled Search + Destroy. His second book, fagart, was a collection of poems and portraits with themes of queer fragility. He recently released his third book, Sour Milk Curds, in March. Benedict currently works and resides in Townsend, Delaware. artbyloganbenedict.com

Catherine Chen

Such Beautiful Machines



Catherine Chen is a poet and performer. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Slate, Hobart, Entropy, Mask Magazine, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Tagvverk, and Nat. Brut. Their chapbook “Manifesto, or: Hysteria” (Big Lucks) will be published in June 2019.

Maria Damon, Alan Sondheim

adnoun from left field / the field left behind


Thad nun Tapestries at the far end of the monastery wall
The brutal murk sat, portend against the statuary’s fall
I think of Stalin shattered, Hitler’s fall
You should’ve caught his legless sprawl
Chad ad noun: “`meek’ in `blessed are the meek’ is an ad-noun” –oh, I get it! I think.
And where he fell, one might forever seek, empyrean to sink
Along with Hitler’s call, unanswered, no one now, on whatever brink –
A terza rima ruined in a blink! and boy does it stink!
Within the burk of time, we’re all gone in a wink,
Please save us like from the slime, Stephen Hawking,
remember there’s no time sublime, let’s all keep talking!
“the cursed obsequious and that their folly” like, when an adjective is nominalized!
and then resurge the riverrun ‘s elsewhere, the world is cauterized
firewise with redundant undulations, mark my wild surmise!
ad-noun: “The shined of equal 3 paired your vision” impair my vision, three-person’d goad! what are you waiting for?
and shattered, vision’s lost, four killers down. The dank moat
reflecting only monstrous, bulbous, watery bloat
while I and billions like me missed the boat,
baiting, and then there’s more – we with love over hatred racing much have
joined embracing closed friends’ derision” oh may you be ever saved from such.
(Which burns against revision’s ism, raved, and then there’s touch.)
She left the house in pink stilettos and a fuschia clutch.
A date with Stephen Hawking, going dutch.
Nightshaded night’s sweet realms murk now left aubergine yam”
alas, bright Hades sight! meet helms lurk, wow! bereft young Ondine’s ram’s
tusk! Suck’d down the intertext’s gory hole, madame!
Both coddles seethed; she, left in the warren
husk-clothed bodies breathed were bereft of the barren
results of the Warren Commission, history’s repeating by and by,
and bees pervading, invading a starry indoor dome-sky!
Hurtle, bled mates cursed in song on beach! Bother Scylla’s mantissa’s glowed motes,
mortal led hates pursued among each other’s ribald fantasies and low notes”
And here again, the bloated body floats…
Among the plasticined debris, endangered stoats –
A hounded sitter’s word-horde gathered! A crow’s beak? Bother, brother of glowed girl!
wounded fitter’s sword’s swart-slaughtered war’s bleak mother and mother-of-pearl”
A sister’s as good as twelve four-eyed hounds with jaded collars all aswirl!
Was Speer really good or evil damned, a murderous churl?
“Sharp heightened, fathers descend in nacreous smoke-ringed shimmer”
With harps sighted, bothered! Portend in cresote this unhinged glimmer!
With blind wing’d harpies, descend on the smoky ones, asleep in their timor.
East or west, the world is burning, friends,
“heist daughters makes amends” thorn adnoun” and with a little cuddle thrown in
Most daughters make amends, shorn and grown, a bit muddled, like brutal kin::
and who would fault a rhyme that ends in fathers’ sin?
with too much blood and gristle, the planet’s thistle crashed within?
adnoun: mortal-led sitter’s “halo “th east bereft”> barefoot and bereft, but wearing a beret
              swearing and swimming today; they pray for prey empyrian, sink
bitter’s other”> greater than sour, than savory, than dour
as if flour made a difference with pi? three point one point four point carp!
No pi for prisoners, round and round we go, waiting for the next harmonious blow –
And Please defer the lyric as you would defend the harp!
Oh Oedipus, to whom else can we now turn? within your narrative trainwreck we, all destitution, burn!
“Tharp “theist mother”> Th’Adnoun descend”> what part of speech are you?
armour amends”> amour demands paramours’ indecent descents, mortar’d,
hurtled among the Alpine mountains where rulers go to pout, find themselves out,
exhausted, the mad clown calls: How to live among the ruins
im/mortal’d > “th’Alpinic “th’eastern th’ology juices itself out
exhausted, the ad-noun falls
into itself
into itself
into itself

the dark tower hums
the dark tower comes
the text ends here, we’re dead, nothing comes to mind



Maria Damon is Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute. She has written extensively on modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, and is currently exploring the interstices of text and textile.


Alan Sondheim is a city-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 has worked with his partner Azure Carter among others. Sondheim is interested in examining the grounds of the virtual and how the body is inhabited. He performs in virtual, real, and
cross-over worlds; his virtual work is known for its highly complex and mobile architectures. He has used altered motion-capture technology extensively for examining and creating new lexicons of behavior. His writing stems out of codework, a problematic style in which code substrates and surface content interfere with each other – in which, in other words, the textual body and body of text are deeply entangled. His current music is based on the impossibility of time reversal, on fast improvisation, and anti-gestural approaches to playing.

Mike Foldes

Counting

Counting, counting, always counting.

12 steps down to the cool cellar

Almost without thinking, realizing

Only at the end ten, eleven, twelve.

How many steps from the kitchen sink

To the kitchen door, from the kitchen door

To the curb where the car sits parked,

Ready and waiting to go, go, go,

A tenth of a mile at a clip, mile

After mile, all 297,000, and then some.

A mathematical world populated

With geometric forms, odd shapes

As if generated at random, but

Logical as logical is said to be.

We moveable icons pass among

One another, relatively speaking

Without mishap; is it because

We are clusters of energy

Of alternate polarities designed

To steer clear of foreign objects?

Which is the true form, “forest

Or field”? To whom do we owe

This debt of gratitude, this

Formulation that carries us

From day to day, here to there,

Step by step, cautiously seeking

To discover what’s next, even

While it’s before our own eyes?
What fractal equation forces us together,

Woman and man, woman and woman,

Man and man? What fractal

Tears us apart, arm, leg, head,

In matters of war. And peace?

Does each generation ponder

On its pathway to the grave

Whether changing a zero to one

Or one to zero, two to three

Or ten to ten thousand, whether

The numbers add up to anything

More than an accumulation

Of laughter or sorrow? Do we

Manage our futures, or does

Despair manage us? What

Is the geometry of innocence?

How many or few the steps

We take to understanding?

The nebulous, the certain,

Cautious and caring, a triangle

Or parallelogram, particles

That exist, or only appear to exist

Because we cannot see or feel

Or detect them, but know their presence

By established theories of influence,

By shadows cast in moonlight

By the casual way we tie our shoes,

the way we count our blessings

cast our nets, spin our webs.


A piece of you

I want a piece of you.

Yes, I really do.

Just a small part,

A corner of your palette

Dust from the floor

Beneath the table

Where you polish

The incandescent metals

Of your ancient trade.

I want a piece of you

To hang on the wall,

Place on a glass shelf

In a curio cabinet

Where the curious

Will gather to look

And see what

We’ve been doing

All these years.

I want a piece of you

I can take to the bank,

That I can dive into

Like a frog into a murky pond,

That I can caress, kiss

And save as a token

Of our mutual respect,

Being that we came

Such a long way to get here

And the crossing

Was so quick.

Ask me for a poem, then,

In exchange for the look,

And a taste of magnesium

On steel on my tongue,

A flavor not unlike that

I imagine you have on yours

At the end of days.

Magically it will appear –

Calibrated lines

Rising and falling

On the skin of my back.



Mike Foldes is a sales engineer specializing in medical displays. A graduate of The Ohio State University in anthropology, he has edited and published magazines, poetry anthologies, chapbooks, alternate newspapers, technical publications, and was a newspaper editor and columnist. He is founder of the online magazine Ragazine.CC, author of Sleeping Dogs: A true story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping …” and Sandy: Chronicles of a Superstorm, a volume of poetry and images in collaboration with artist Christie Devereaux. His articles, editorials, poems and stories have appeared in translation into Romanian, Hungarian, French and Spanish. e-mail: editor@ragazine.cc.

Maria Gergoula, Ian Whitfield



A Critique of Water

Georgoula Whitfield | A Critique of Water

A Tunnel and_or a Bridge

Georgoula Whitfield | A Tunnel and_or a Bridge

Dignity Contained in Tents

Georgoula Whitfield | Dignity Contained in Tents

Habit & Form

Georgoula Whitfield | Habit & Form

Sync

Georgoula Whitfield | Sync



Maria Georgoula’s practice explores notions around apathy and the banal through sculptural works that merge soft form with objects extracted from diverse contexts such as garden and DIY centres in the UK, early surrealist writings and decorative traditions. For a number of years Georgoula has also run the Nauru Project, an online collaborative project on the smallest island nation in the world. Selected solo and group exhibitions include Tinos Quarry Platform, Tinos, Greece; Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh; Daily Lazy Projects, Athens; Eleftheria Tseliou Gallery, Athens; The Showroom, London; Bloc Projects, Sheffield; Rogue Artists’ Studios Project Space, Manchester; Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Circuits & Currents, Athens; New Court Gallery, Derbyshire; The Institute of Greek Contemporary Art, Athens and ReMap KM, Athens. Georgoula lectures at Nottingham Trent University and lives and works in the Midlands, UK and Athens, Greece.


Ian Whitfield lives and works in Derbyshire and studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, English and European Literature and Art History at the University of Essex and Painting at the Royal College of Art. His work involves painting, drawing and writing. He has exhibited at the Drawing Room, Large Glass, Josh Lilley Gallery and the Blyth Gallery in London, Rogue Studios in Manchester, New Court Gallery in Derby, the Wirksworth Festival and in God and Sausages in Athens. His residencies include Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the RCA Mann Painting Travel Scholarship. His research topics have been Narrative Perception in Painting and The Uses of the Invisible. Other recent writing includes literary reviews for Art Review Magazine, a prose piece for a James Wright catalogue called The Garden Behind, a long poem Our Minds are Normal for the exhibition Gorilla Split by Maria Georgoula and a pamphlet of poems called The Architect (2017). He has been a visiting Lecturer at Derby University, Leeds College of Art and Design and Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently completing a collection of stories called Fake Blues.

Diana Manesi

One letter

Dearest Cassandra,

      The first time we met the next night we spent it fucking. You fucked me so hard that I felt loved. I wanted to feel loved so much I was prepared to be a nymphomaniac spinster that wants constant attention. Running away from you meant running away from scary memories. I was sexually hurt. I didn’t have anything to do with myself. You pissed your inner guts on my breasts, coated my limbs and starred into my eyes until a feeling of vertigo took over, no more alleys, rooms, doors, corridors, just heights, stairs, elevators, letter birds. Everything was letter birds streaming out of your ass into the labyrinth and back. Still your inner self remains a mystery. This means that I cannot put your words and acts into language. I can only guess at your feelings. Guessing is not really knowing. I cannot hide my cheap intentions. I tried manipulating you, I wanted to extract your tears, pour them out, drink them and make my pain pretentious. I am listening near you, that voice of centuries ago.

      Language comes with joy. It should not be imposed, heaven help anyone who acts as if they want to write statements of absolute truth and glory. Last week I met with my academic publishers they said that I need to dissociate our voices, mine and yours, since it confuses the reader and makes the whole thing something vaguely passable. I hate mediocrity. I hate this truth that manifests itself as the fact that human life is just a negotiation with killjoys, and pain, of course pain, pretending to be in pain, being in pain, I still can’t get in terms with my pain. If it happens that you do not want any further contact with me for one or two months, days, years, I know human desire is erratic and things happen, I shall not stop writing you. What is writing? This is writing. This is it. When I write you my whole body is in control, every inch of me gasps in astonishment, your body comes on top of mine, is this how human is? What stays as a gentle reminder of your presence when you burst out of the room is your ability to make me miserable when you are kilometers away.

      So much I have reconstructed from the labyrinth of notes in painting your pale pink skin. In my spare-room your face flashed like the tail of a comet- three dots- across my trembling letters. Now it is pale pink distance and space, an expanding space in which I took flight as an arrow and the arrow seemed to cross the impossibly wide labyrinth, it seemed to arc on and on in space and not quite to stop. Despite all changes due to emotional swings, gut- spoken headlocks, all the times, you and I have been in different parts of the world, flung out of space, this writing is fuel for love. The pain I write I feel and the pain you write you feel, the pain of displacement, of exile, of separation, of a feminine woman that dies of exhaustion cause she can’t speak manly enough, it’s just the unfeeling tools to build our world. Wish me good luck in this delicate endeavor, it was more than enough for once to have had your arms and lips on me.

Love,
Ntiana

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. As years went by she wrote various academic essays. Gradually her relation to language and words began to shift and she decided to revisit her diaries. 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 and wishes to continue exploring the margins of language and its relation to the world. She currently resides in London where she teaches anthropology at Goldsmiths College and is about to complete her thesis. Whenever she can she travels, attends poetry workshops and loves making her own milkshakes.

Sara Matson

savoy corpse reviver | blanc de noirs | sundowner


Sara Matson has her MA in Literature from Northeastern Illinois University. She shares her Chicago apartment with her amazing husband and their three young boys, who all happen to be cats. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Burning House Press, Occulum, Dream Pop Press, Snapdragon Journal, Waxing and Waning, her mother’s refrigerator, and elsewhere. Sara Matson self-published her first chapbook, corporeal sin in 2014, and her second chapbook, electric grandma is forthcoming in 2018. She tweets as @skeletorwrites.

Kat Meads

Niece Notes:
Love & Such

West Coast
Sunday

Dear DeeDee,

In my first-round Virginia Woolf infatuation, I came across a photo of the author leaning against a stone doorway, right hand stuck in the pocket of one of many layers of clothing, left hand crooked and rising toward her chin, right foot kicked out behind her. You likely know the one I mean. It is now everywhere published. New to my eyes, the most riveting aspect of the image, besides its seeming informality, was Woolf’s tilted head and facial expression. I made a photocopy because I thought it captured the writer in one of her mad/near-mad moments and eerily conveyed the essence of that mind state—off-kilter, vulnerable, ever so slightly on guard. I was wrong, of course. The photo was taken at Knole, Vita Sackville West’s ancestral digs. And it wasn’t a visual of Virginia mad; it was a visual of Virginia in love.

Love,
Aunt K

***

West Coast
Tuesday

Dear DeeDee,

Confessional poets—and, let’s be honest, the suicides of confessional poets—turned a sizeable chunk of your aunt’s college contemporaries into anguished romantics. The fragmented self’s fragmentations exhaustively examined. Psychic wounds owned up to and flagrantly exposed. Such unabashed, unashamed and uncensored revealing left us awestruck—and envious. But whereas self-evisceration on the page came off empowering, in life mode that kind of sensibility got folks ostracized, hospitalized, electroshocked and dismissed as a functioning member of the body politic. Regardless, before we aged out, awe carried the day. And what has any of this to do with your kin? Not much, except as illustration of the path not taken. However miserable the living, none in our family seem to have opted to speed the finale. Our collective MO tracks more ornery—and more resigned. In the face of failure and disappointment, disaster and heartbreak, the Meadses, as one non-relation put it, “set their jaw and hunker down.”

Love,
Aunt K

***

West Coast
Thursday

Dear DeeDee,

Your grandparents and I first met your mother when she and your dad drove in for the weekend—a visit that couldn’t have been without anxiety for your dad, concerned as he must have been about receptions. (Not in terms of what we’d think of your mother; rather, what your mother might make of us.) The day was dreary and damp and so our living room looked more dreary and damp than usual. Adding to the dampness, I’d miscalculated their arrival time and was just out of the shower—a crushing turn of events. I’d desperately wanted to make a good impression on your mother and how could that be accomplished with a “wet head”? They sat close together, your parents, on the couch, your mother with her standout elegance looking like someone from another world (as she was). And yet she behaved as nervously as your father, holding his hand, working hard to make us like her, as if any other outcome were possible. It was obvious she adored your dad, and anyone who adored your dad had the inside track to our affections. But the truth is, quite apart from her adoration of our son and brother, we fell madly in love with your mother that afternoon. Every last one of us.

Aunt K

***

West Coast
Friday

Dear DeeDee,

Did your parents share they’d considered building a house on a back acre of the farm? Their choice would have made a spectacular lot. Surrounded on three sides by old-growth oak and pine, they would have looked out into open fields: a wide view from a protected spot. They would have lived Appleton’s prospect-refuge theory of geographical contentment to a T. Since the woods hadn’t then been cut for timber, you’d have had a choice of massive trees to climb or field rows to run. In any direction—north, south, east or west—you wouldn’t have felt penned in, not in the slightest. I understood your dad’s wish to return home and work with your grandfather and because the idea meant so much to him felt grateful to your mom for supporting the plan. Your grandparents would have gladly given over the acreage, thrilled to have your parents live so close by. But the farm couldn’t support two salaries then, perhaps never could. It was hard for your grandparents—hard to acknowledge their helplessness in the face of incontrovertible fact, extremely hard to disappoint your dad’s hopes. I know it was hard because whenever your grandmother talked about that conversation, even after your grandfather died, she cried.

Love,
Aunt K

***

West Coast
Saturday

DeeDee,

You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that while previously I’ve not been shy about discussing the end of my own marriage, I’ve said little about your parents’. Avoidance, pure and simple. I’ve been circling the subject of their split because, despite the time gap between then and now, I’d rather not admit (or believe) it happened. Your parents’ divorce was infinitely more distressing than mine—on your dad (of course), but also on your grandparents and (yes) on me. Because we believed in your parents’ coupledom, you see. Believed in its rightness, its fitness, its resiliency. Proved wrong, we not only lost the regular companionship of your mother, we lost faith in the accuracy of our perceptions, in our interpretation of the manifestly true. In terms of age and wedding dates, your dad and I divorced out of sequence. I was twenty-six when I called it quits, a mere year and a half into the contract. Your parents’ union lasted twelve times that. I so vividly remember opening your dad’s letter outside the Northampton post office. Where I stood on the sidewalk. The level of snow clumps on either side. The thin, high voice of someone behind me. I assume your father wrote not trusting himself (or me) to discuss it over the phone. He gave no reason for the separation in the letter. Neither he nor your mother ever shared the reason/reasons. For me to speculate here would be heretical, disrespectful of that discretion. But I do brood about their breakup. To this hour, I brood and miss your mother terribly.

Love,
Aunt K

Kat Meads is the author of 2:12 a.m. – Essays (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2013), a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year finalist and the recipient of an Independent Press Publishers (IPPY) Gold Medal. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Prague Revue, Identity Theory, Hotel Amerika, Zone 3, The Southern Review and elsewhere. Her essays have received four Notable citations in the Best American Essays series, the Dorothy Churchill Cappon prize from New Letters and the Editors’ Choice Award in Nonfiction from Drunken Boat. She teaches in Oklahoma City University’s Red Earth MFA program. (www.katmeads.com)