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Electric Rather

January 2013

A Literary Magazine

Electric Rather is a nonprofit literary magazine that showcases talented new writers. We support innovative and original artists. We hope to grow and spread fantastic unknown literature wherever possible. This issue features previously unpublished writers John Markowski, Aaron Kaminsky, Dan Carbone, Cole McCarty, Oleg S Yubkin, Elizabeth Theriot, and Barbi Moroz. This issue was edited by Barbi Moroz.

If you wish to contact us, our email is electricrather@gmail.com. You can also visit electricrather.tumblr.com or facebook.com/electricrather.

All pieces in this issue are copyrighted and belong to their respective authors. Š 2013 Electric Rather

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Contents Oleg S Yubkin .......................................................................................... P. 4-5 Barbi Moroz: “Tree,” “Natural Romantic”.............................................. P. 6-7 John Markowski: “How Curious” .......................................................... P. 8 Aaron Kaminsky: “Feudal Ants (Bloodline)” ........................................ P. 9 Elizabeth Theriot: “On Such Days,” “Chasing Rabbits” ........................ P. 10-11 John Markowski: “Pond” ....................................................................... P. 12 Dan Carbone: “In Their Skin” ................................................................ P. 13 Elizabeth Theriot: “Jezebel” ................................................................... P. 14 Cole McCarty .......................................................................................... P. 15 Dan Carbone: “Waking Up” ................................................................... P. 16

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Oleg S Yubkin QUIETroute out front West Atco. filthy knob and Anthony won’t fucking cut it out. kept cross hisself fore snapt the lid on it; always and never only crost isself angrily oms surrounding by this point (.22, .38) drives his jivemind tofro Camden slike nobody’s business to leave him lay, shaking junksick in a wickerchair round fire.

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Oleg S Yubkin listening, stop. someone is jotting on fleshpaper all scratch, scratch, dip. stop. Carne Papel has at RC and his following likemad til he’s given the old sit and spin again. lukewarm whiskeybreath comesout billowing from the collective lung. someone is listening way out there, and RC knows. he’s gonna go way out there and watch them listen. spineless film. spineless everything. blows fizzing bubblemasses from a disinfectant flesh papercloth, all masses all over the machinus examinus. all over the swarmbot plot what’s been on for ages and nothing less.

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Tree Barbi Moroz

When I was a kid, I climbed spiraling branches of dark brown. I’d get as close to the top as I could, but when the branches became too thin, I’d look down and marvel at the distance between my body and the ground. My hands, covered in flakes of bark, and worn in a way they’re not now, would guide me down the giant maze and I’d venture off to another place. I never got lost back then.

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Natural Romantic Barbi Moroz My body is a gun, you’re a tree I keep failing to miss. I might not be as talented as I wish I was and think I am. My veins are too little for all the judgments. I’ll drink my own and count the toes that matter. A brief hiatus from negativity; people aren’t people to me anymore. Arms crossed forever; reflection, there’s something remarkable in a mirror. I’m finding creativity in reality. I couldn’t before. I’m a push-over.

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How Curious John Markowski Oh, a young nothing gasps as he awakens to the dawn on an unseen flowing river The taste of salt and slowly-decomposing earth reminded him of a song sung by a self-loathing lover how old? Oh, how despair could power a dream, how sadness could tear apart your chest and feed the apes Oh, how crisp clean air from an untouched neck of the woods can devour and then softly, so softly repair Song available on satelloon.bandcamp.com.

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Feudal Ants (Bloodline) Aaron Kaminsky One after the other Like a row of ants We chase one another. The one behind Chases the one ahead. Behind him The others significant other. Marriage proposals Written in chalk. As they compare accounts Flowers trace their walk. One after another We feud the other. The one ahead is their Father The one behind is the Brother. Fighting for the front. For they feel small. Or patiently waiting in the ranks for their time to call. One after another We chase each other. The second to last is waiting for the third to fall. While the one in the back is in chase with them all.

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On Such Days Elizabeth Theriot On such days my greatest achievement is the thick inch or two between my thumb and index finger, of page No path has lent me its dust, no leaves cling to the mane of my hair or victorious grass blade swaying But the skittering ants of text crawl beneath my damp eye, and travel the ins and outs of arteries carrying twice their weight; such determined things And sometimes the little wind, the brief flutter moaned from a page’s turn is the only breath that cools me on such days The reliability of a coffee pot is the surmise of my knowledge; Honey drizzled into steaming tea the crux of my learning

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Chasing Rabbits Elizabeth Theriot 1 The hat brim hung limp in the humidity and fell with an unimpressive thump. Sitting in the dust we weren’t affected by manners, but squinted through the sun with a child’s lofty skepticism. The jeers passed from ear to ear to the clumsily assembled stage where the magician pulled faded scarves from his sleeve. They fell like fluorescent leaves by his splitting boots. He stammered and blushed under youth’s sticky sneers— certain men always do for they better see themselves: naked and real and foolish. This was a rare look into a crystal ball, a strange ache stirring some foreign wind that dried out my mouth and left a bitter taste not unlike Dad’s black coffee. Billy’s shoulder leaned against me, his eyes frozen ponds that stared wide at the magician’s pitiful attempts to impress us. Billy’s sweaty fingers fumbled for mine as wild shrieks of glee exploded across the schoolyard. While the other children scrambled up the stage fighting for ownership of the abandoned hat, a small rabbit bounded away like a BB pellet. The magician chased it alone.

2 Glass exploded in greens and yellows and reds. Each individual piece danced like bright ballerinas against a black curtain; too graceful for this chaos of falling stars, feral light shot from a wizard’s wand. The frigid air whirled like a carousel gone mad: lion, mermaid, dragon, sphinx with their flaking mouths agape around the wail of an emergency siren. It filled my head completely, an anchor forged to keep me between the road and the sky. Everything faded to gray once the glass touched ground and my skin, like fanged mouths. It’s all okay, I thought to myself as Billy’s hand inched toward mine over the asphalt, a mud-heavy bird. As the two slices of dark around me finally met my last conscious thought was, We’re going to be late for dinner. 3 The boy’s laugh reaches me over car horns and traffic, clear as bells ringing away the morning fog. I stand and watch his sneakers fly across the grass in a secret game of sand and rocks and sticks. I want to pull off my heels and join him, but this is not allowed. I can no longer understand his rules. The sidewalk may as well be grass, the road a pond of honking ducks that separate the boy and I. He leaps across a sidewalk crack and it seems for a moment that he will never touch the ground, but become just the mirage of a stranger’s dream that leaves nothing but a reflection in a water puddle, prematurely erased by tires.

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Pond John Markowski Someone finally inquired, but I stayed among the ol’ natives. Their fullness lessened, as did mine. I’ve felt the desire to sleep while watching them strip of their aging beauty and slip into cold rest while dropping babies to the earth from which they came. The noises of the night started early, pulling my ears far from my head, I won’t sleep to the droning devils. It is a dream in itself. I won’t share a bed with the ol’ natives. My welcome was taken along with their signs of life. I’ve barely witnessed my own curiosity my own evil my own light how could a skin wearing, bone-filled being grow roots, let alone drop their child to an earth they have never known? Too many forests of dead skin.

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In Their Skin Dan Carbone I’d look better in solid colors. She says plaid makes me look like I’m going to a circus. I thought she was beautiful.

Eyeliner stains her face, and her natured beauty. Makeup is no good. It’s not her. He’s not him.

She looks towards Bret’s solid colors. Her eyes are swimming sea urchins, And she is beautiful like silk flowing From a spider.

Bret plays a game. It will end with him taking her and their colors being removed. And he still thinks she is beautiful.

Fair skin grips her sender wrists, Riding up her arms and shoulders. Mouthwash on her breath. Perfume saturates her clothing And she doesn’t look at me. Her hair hugs her shoulders, Her eyes on Bret. His color. I’m talking at her. “What do you think about hats?” I ask again. The hat helps. The plaid becomes less obvious. She doesn’t repeat my name. Bret won’t say hers.

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Jezebel Elizabeth Theriot The hot water swells in small eddies around my neck. Between my knees, it slowly turns red— like Easter egg dye, food coloring, craft paint under a running tap. I move my fingers to catch the dark clumps but they disintegrate at my touch, implosions of many small, bobbing planets. My stomach clenches and unclenches and clenches again in a spasmodic rhythm. I wish for a glass of wine, but that will hardly be allowed. Nathan quietly slips into the bathroom and kneels by the tub. His eyes are tender, though he has not spoken to me in a week. I hope his words will recall me to several years ago when we first met and I loved him. It was spring then, and he wore no rosary. Nathan looks at me for a long moment and the tenderness hardens, like a parent who has been severely disappointed. “This is your punishment,” he says simply, quietly. My breath stills as he kisses my forehead and leaves the bathroom. I choke back a sob as another paroxysm grabs me around the middle, hard as a lover would. These are a sad mockery of labor pains, ferocious but with no point. The water is becoming lukewarm and greasy. As I sit up to turn on the faucet there is a great pain in my belly, and I cry aloud as the tub darkens with a new cloud of blood. Nathan comes in with a big cooking spoon. I close my eyes against the nauseating sight of him flushing this small, unformed bit of me down the toilet. I imagine that this gives him a grim satisfaction. He is muttering under his breath, a prayer that sounds more like a curse. I too would pray, if Nathan’s new-found God did not repel me. Instead I hope that my green sweater still drapes the kitchen chair, and at this moment tea is being brewed. “It’s over now,” Nathan says. I drain the tub. If it snows tonight, I will go outside in my old red coat and make angels on the ground.

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Cole McCarty Today, when I awoke, I realized I had no money and I became angry. I wasn’t angry that I had nothing in my wallet, nothing in my bank account or nothing on the Internet. I became angry at the reality in which I exist. A reality that allows money, an invention, invented long before my birth, to withhold me from achieving my dreams. Where do you see yourself in ten years? I had realized that the source of my river had run dry. Had been depleted by myself and my own. The birth of your messiah allows for the purchase of goods. Allows you to go wild, flashing plastic in public, thinking; “Oh, she’ll love it.” Allows for the expansion of cities. Allows for the head offices to reward their head officers. And allows you to endanger your existence, your fragile & beautiful life. But it’s only temporary, right? Money’s not really real, right? Wrong. I have much to offer you. Why won’t you let me do what I long to do. If I wanted to trade paper, I’d be in the paper trade. Why must I allow your antiquated systems to refuse my application of dismissal? Why can’t I return to those antiquated systems that forebode your antiquated systems and your antiquated messiahs? Wrong. That water from your river is nothing more than air. That water you drink is nothing more than air. It always has been. Get close, take a look. And you wonder why your mouth is dry. Fool.

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Waking Up Dan Carbone You wake up on someone’s else couch, in someone’s else home. You smell an alcohol stained shirt on your chest that isn’t yours. Where is your wallet, your keys? That girl or guy you slept with is gone, and they didn’t leave a note. Not a number. What they left was a headache and flaky skin. They left your tongue in the back of your throat, tasting your own saliva. You walk around, dodging cups and the temporary corpses, searching. You’re not sure what you’re looking for, All you know is that it’s lost. Perhaps you found it last night. But remember, it’s gone. It left with a piece of you.

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Special Thanks Electric Rather would like to thank all of the wonderful writers that contributed to this issue. We would also like to thank our readers for giving these new writers a chance and for appreciating orignal literature. We would like to cite two sources that provided some of the textures used in this issue: cgtextures.com and subtlepatterns.com. Graphic design in this issue is by Barbi Moroz. Our cover drawing is by John Markowski.

All pieces in this issue are copyrighted and belong to their respective authors. Š 2013 Electric Rather

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Electric Rather Issue 01