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Issue #005

*All artwork for this issue provided by Ben Mohr

Aberration Labyrinth


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005

A Note From The Editors: Hello again. We’re so excited to be hitting this exciting benchmark. We’ve made it to Issue #005, and we hope to make it for many more. Thank you for your continued patronage. -AL

nightjar at Bandarban Iftekhar Sayeed nightjar often, so often have I heard your discreet call Anger

call that sends terror through the leaf-scented night to midges and frogs

Susanne Rowell We sat in silence, restrained by suburban subordination, inferior satellites in I-pod and coffee-to-go-ness land

but tonight after years of waiting I saw incredulous your tawny crepuscular glide upward and downward swoops for prey

2nd and 53rd row material, we managed to crawl out of the gutter, muted by our knowledge of life's dreary soundtrack screaming in our ears, exhausting the spirit in loops, inhaling fearful desperation as we

a feast for my eyes after nightly vigils this feast of yours on vigilant night

sat in silence, emptied of hopeful efforts, along an endless future in a tiny single room, life-supportsystem for high-flyers.

© This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013 The Song is Blue Ketchup Marianne Szlyk On Sunday in Tompkins Square Park only the hopelessly uncool wear all black. A man in a purple kilt walks a white Pomeranian with matching streaks. You sip kale juice. The back-up singers onstage wear nuns’ habits. They swing their oversize Mardi Gras bead rosaries in time to the ska beat. Someone’s father in a fedora dances and plays trombone. I sip beet juice. Children’s music plays in the distance. The song is blue ketchup on chicken nuggets. The song is sneaky sips of orange soda. The song is not you. The song is blue ketchup.

Issue #005 Dreams Joe Hauser Imagine dancing on the patio With cigarettes and wine and cold bare feet To step carefree! Our hearts, the radio, Our souls, the movement so sweet. Then crowded in the basement of a bar With flirting eyes aglow in the amber fire Of seductive scotch. They flicker like the stars Above our city, burning with desire. To running through streets emptied for a storm While thunder rolls and threatens clothes, We hide for cover stripping down to study forms Of one another, panting side by side. But please don’t dream that just these things come true Because what’s left is waking next to you.

The air is heavy with warm earth and asphalt. You sip beet juice. A nun in navy blue polyester opens up her matching umbrella. I sip kale juice. Spring rain will start up again soon.

Wash Outcast Gerry Fabian A blue denim work shirt flaps in the wind. Even after washing, it is splattered by paint and grease. There is nothing else on the line. © This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005

Chloe Says Phillip Ellis

The Art of Creation or Articulated Arterial Bleeding Jude Roy

Chloe says that I have to choose between a life as a poet, or being sold the sort of disastrous life made of misery, an echo chamber for a ruinous heart.

I cut an artery last night. Key strokes knifed through skin, cartilage, bone. Ideas pumped like blood.

Chloe says that this is the basis for a life lived as with free will: on the one hand creation and beauty, upon the other impotent speech.

Words sliced east to west; lines cut north to south. Ideas puddled in the middle. I tried to staunch the bleeding— but when the tourniquet didn’t work, I let the ideas shoot out until unconsciousness took over. I awoke to a finished poem spread-eagled across my blood-soaked page. Kitty Litter Traci Clemmer you leapt from a porch on the street to help me carry my kitty litter home i miss this a man. a man who could help me carry my kitty litter home. sleeves rolled up determined later you left your telephone number on my door step I called you you forgot who I am until you suddenly remember kitty litter?! you say like it's my name kitty litter i repeat like it's my name © This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005

Detox Ashley Ables There's no other way to put it. He's toxic, an addiction. From The way he walks, the way he talks, Poison that creeps deeper than skin, Straight through bone, to the heart, the soul. Like a parasite, stretching and Squirming throughout the body to Mutilate the peace of your mind. He's the devil in an angel's Form, brighter than the midday's sun, Yet flowers die as he walks by. Surgery to remove the hell And strip away the cancered cells. Detox and shake, purge the body Of the deadly toxins. He's an Addiction, abomination. Coffee Blue Shannon Barber Coffee Blue Gray skies leaning towards sleep. Someone is screaming. Fast forward to blank verdant space. Coffee beat black and blue til it voids. Taken down to where the ideas come in at fucked up angles. Silence knocked off balance by itself. Noise in spermy bursts of fertile nonsense. The breaking in the dark that is too much like fucking. Day/Dreamer Shannon Barber In my head I was great and beautiful. Connected to primal forces, cunt magic and earth. Tethered by gossamer threads. Tied to light and fire. I knew it as the truth in my soul. Until my eyes opened. I am just another bone - in the desiccated skeleton of the city.

Š This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005 A Silent, Merciful Death William Alton

Better than Cure Bryan Murphy Parasites hitch to their victims’ blood on others’ wings, sure to gorge, while the world flies shy of prevention, the best cure.

Smoke hangs in the room three quarters the distance from floor to ceiling. My father sits in his recliner, a cigarette burning, a glass of whiskey and water on the table beside him. It’s funny, he says. The things you remember.

As a child, I woke screaming from the laughing gas, stayed clear of dentists, over-brushed my teeth: gaps, pain, high bills endure. They tell you nicotine’s bad, but it cuts stress, our killer. Why not say ditch tar, chill with the fix a patch can procure? Teaching the ways of science - observe, reason, test, refute: hard path to knowledge, health, immunity to woo’s allure. Tender gall bladder, felt for at mid-clavicular line: Murphy’s Sign, hand-sleight, last hope for prevention, the best cure.

The light from the window is thin and gray, fading to twilight. Soon he’ll rise and microwave a meal for himself. He’ll shuffle from chair to kitchen and back. Pain makes him cautious, his cane thumping on the floor, leaving dimples in the thick carpet there. Tomorrow, I’ll come and clean his place for him, a weekly ritual. How are things? he’ll ask. I’ll shrug and take the garbage out to the Dumpster. Afterward, I’ll sit with him and we’ll talk. Are you in love? he’ll ask. No, I’ll say. Not yet. Midnight will find him sleeping in his chair, his back bent and sore. He’ll make his way slowly to bed and he’ll lie down, naked and cold. He’ll lie down and he’ll think of my mother, of me. He’ll lie down and he’ll pray for the end, the end of days, a silent, merciful death.

The Birth of Venus Caleb Tong I still see her in my dreams My next door neighbor-tried to poison her kids with non-toxic anitfreeze and chewable Ibuprofen got frustrated when they didn't die and bashed their heads against cool yellow linoleum I see her in the backwaters of dream land Like the Birth of Venus with blood flowing beneath her censor bar hands I see her like a picture that I can feel I explore the burning depths of her flesh moaning at the soulful hatred in her eyes I wake up from these dreams crying, and with wet sheets.

He’s Somebody’s Daughter Flint M. He's somebody's daughter, this creature walking past the diner window at 6 am. Lipstick smudged wig askew. Taller than me and the stubble is maybe poking through the foundation, fishnets torn, skirt a little too high. But goddamn if that backside isn’t just this side of divine. Must be the heels.

© This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005

Slab standard anatomical position Kyle Apgar developing autopsy photos, i acted as death’s hyperopic eye. on my screen, a woman with an amputated right leg, cleaved just superior to the knee. her torso yielded a Y incision that began under each second rib, met mid sternum, and ended near the pubic synthesis. her dulling husk was held together by taut thread which made the adipose erupt from the fissure, and push out like jaundice fingers from within her chest, the way a cicada emerges from its shell. her trimmed pubic hair showed that she had better plans than laying on surgical steel, naked, photographed, measured, and taken apart as if she were a rusted out car. i sat back, indenting my computer chair as my breathing slowed and gravity doubled on me, jealous of all the attention she was receiving.

Occasionally, when a fresh corpse is brought into the morgue, due to internal decomposition, the body will flatulate, eruct, and vociferate guttural echoes that briefly give the appearance of life to those new to the grim task of dissection. This is you, lovely. The gaseous, corporal, expulsion that projects the illusion of life onto your shell, only, to the novice eye. Ocarina of Time Ashley Ables The land of Hyrule is peaceful at times As their princess resides in the castle. The land was safe until one day evil Arose in the form of a man, to steal The great power of the Triforce. The path Of Link, a forest boy, and the princess Zelda overlap as the darkness spreads Over Hyrule. She flees and tosses her Ocarina, the legendary piece That can change the flow of time, to young Link, Who from that day must go through the sacred Temples and banish the evil that the Man Ganondorf had placed in the temples. The dark magic shrouded the six sages Who must be saved through much time and effort Of Link. He fights and saves all of Hyrule, Saving Zelda from the evil that plagued The land. With one last song from Zelda, she Reverses time back seven years to make It as if no evil has hurt Hyrule.

Š This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005

How She Died Kristian Iliev Rising serenely A lingering lizard of Opaque fingers creeping through Cracks of Amherst windows and doors Eerily drifting to and fro Casting a shroud over the room Enveloping Emily Dickinson.

An Examination of the Haiku by the Modern American Man Jason Hancock What’s a damn Haiku? A waste of damn breath mostly. Nothing worth speaking. Three lines can tell a story? About a bitch and her glossy stare? That’s hardly possible. Tell about my skin And how it sticks to this lawn chair. Or my empty Saison bottle in the grass. Talk about this busted lip From her other “good friend.” That’s a conversation piece. Describe this smirking moon That reflects her face for me. What allure. What a bitch.

Wash Outcast Gerry Fabian A blue denim work shirt flaps in the wind. Even after washing, it is splattered by paint and grease. There is nothing else on the line.

© This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005

Sikorsky Helicopters and Sears Lawn Mowers Sy Roth

She’s a Sikorsky helicopter. Hovers two feet above the ground, spyglasses attached to her head watch his every movement. Her little soldier wends his way Along the swampy corridors. Chattering helicopter swoops in for closer looks alerts others to her presence. Chases them away with her fluttering arms. The little jackanape smiles a guiltless smile armored, the halls are his waiting for her rat-a-tat displays. Peanut-butter free zones and cleansing custodians Red-carpet his grand entrances. Bomblets of burgers and fries disembark. When he falls, scraped knee become rivers of blood. B minuses become Gettysburgs of crimson pouting. Homework an unnecessary burden away from x-Box. Sikorsky and Sears conspired to see her to victory, Created instead a burden. She will countenance nothing less. Meat cut into neat little squares. Streets never crossed without guard. She’s a Sears lawn mower all barriers chopped and minced. No convincing words to shatter her belief accepts only that the automaton simply deserves.

© This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005

King of Spades Craig Schwipps His eyes are lifeless as are his doppelganger’s Face white as his clenched weapon A hideous mutation of a monarch. He looks to the past his brother to the future Yet the two hold no authority. Even with their twin swords they will always be shuffled, like everyone like everything into obsolescence.

Jack of Hearts Craig Schwipps

Queen of Clubs Craig Schwipps Age shows clearly through white strands of long hair, barely covered by a veil. Entirely useless in euchre, barely remembered in poker amidst the crazed minds of the honorable Captain Morgan and Brother Daniels. Queen of the paw print, the clover. Hold so little respect that your jack defies your direction. Chips clinking, taunting, laughter, and muttered curses are the only sounds entering your flat ears now. Such a strange thing to hold art but never appreciate the design. Just bend, flip, shuffle, tear. Colors fade much like your kingdom. The crown slips from one head to another.

With one hand admire a petal grasped tightly holding the heart before your eye. The other makes ready to strike your axe. Perhaps you are just like your queen tyrant. No! That cannot be, not with your perfect mustache and golden hair, you are just a servant. Trained in arts you question, torture, pain, execution.. How many heads have you claimed without even knowing their names? Would showing your whole face betray shame lining your fancy coat? Look around at the cudgels and chains lining your living quarters. Look in disgust and drain another bottle like your entire existence. Perhaps the axe is held by another and you are about to be split in two. Cut in half. A deck of cards. Would that frighten or excite you and your Siamese brother? Blue eyes on a red figure never looked so incomplete.

Š This work is the property of the individual authors within.


Aberration Labyrinth ISSN 2179-8805 March 2013

Issue #005 Those Drapes John Severino I sit. The room has a disgusting plaid awning over What appears to be a window, The smell of antiseptic too potent to ignore. Today, they made me pee into a jar (All so civil and organized). My heart palpitates as I ponder requests For Drugs I should not be takingThose curtains are hideous. On the floor A stool swims in my sedated visual. It swims, pulsates, I nod and blink, But the samples are coming, here they come. Could the universe fit in this room? Linoleum galaxies an’ paper starsIf it was dark, I would not see those drapes. I’m startled as the door is opened. An energetic Asian man enters Wearing nice shoes: “Cannot give you post-dated scripts” he balks. That’s nice, now give me my samples. It dawns on me, In this universe, Could he be the Christ? An erudite doctor come to heal the sick? Beats me, I just want my samples.

Caming Joe Gdowik

this is culture now a middle aged couple fucking in front of a camera showing themselves to a million hardons sitting behind webcams waiting to jerk off with someone's sick fucking husband shaving his wife\'s pimply used pussy but still a nice looking pussy and my dick gets hard in spite of the fact that I’m one of these sick fucks jerking off to some stranger shaving his wife’s pussy

We cordially shake hands And he leaves. From this place, this space I defect A defect Sucked in and out of time, A hallucinatory derelict Smiling, holding a bag, Kindly exiting. Chirping seasonably down the corridor, I merge with the night.

© This work is the property of the individual authors within.

AL #005  

Issue #005 of Aberration Labyrinth

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