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Carnival An online literary magazine

Mini-Issue #3

POETRY EDITOR Shannon Phillips FICTION EDITOR Jose Miguel Diego COVER PHOTO “Pablos & Thigh” Rose Hesse

All Work © Respective Writers, 2012 www.carnivalitmag.com

ISSN 2164-2575 2


CONTENT Page 7

One Miracle Bill Mohr

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Kiss, Baby, The New Film Lyn Lifshin

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spiderthoughts S.C.R 1975 - 2003

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Cathedral David Caddy

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From the Mattress On the Floor Under the Flaming Sky Photos Lyn Lifshin

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Refrigerator Magnets #1 Corinne Wallace

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With So Many Voices Lyn Lifshin

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Toad at the Controls Gerald Locklin

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Dear Diary Kenneth P. Gurney

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“It Really Ties the Room Together” naro

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Aftermath Brian Verwiel

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A Short History of the Anti-Book League Charlotte De’Ath

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Bookseller’s Dream Jeffrey Graessley

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I met her at an S/m club Shannon Therese

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Private Dance Eric Morago

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Before He Comes Home Charlotte San Juan

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On the Quilt of Blue Flowers Lyn Lifshin

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Excerpt from “The Long Green” mexifornianqueen

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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CONTRIBUTORS

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS “One Miracle” first appeared in Wormwood Review and later in Bittersweet Kaleidoscope. “Dear Diary” was previously published by Radiant Turnstile. “Private Dance” was first published in Here for the Friction.

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Dedicated to Bob Flanagan, 1952 - 1996

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One Miracle

For Bob Flanagan Stunned by tequila from the night before, I remember poking at embers as dawn puffed its mist into a clearing. Bob sang and coughed, sang and coughed. Even then, I wondered how much longer he had. Every time his body jerked, I winced. I loved his improvised, contaminated genius. Tonight he’s in the hospital again, alone, And this poem is like a waitress who deserves a big tip—half the bill—for telling me it’s time to stop drinking coffee and drive over And rescue him, perform the one miracle I’m allowed in this life, but I’m not, because Bob’s not the one I’m supposed to save. — Bill Mohr

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KISS, BABY, THE NEW FILM a much more rare obsession than mine, tho in some ways, not that different. The woman in love with what’s dead, what’s given up on breathing, caring, could be me knocking my knuckles raw on your metal door while you gulp another beer, put your head down on the table. With you, it often was like singing to someone in a casket the lid was already down on, still expecting something. She buried animals in the woods, didn’t mind touching them. Though I made our nights into something more, I could have been coiled close to a corpse. No, that part is a lie. Your body was still warm. It was everything inside where you heart must have been that was rigid, ice. The woman in the film went to work, an embalming assistant. Isn’t that what I’m doing? Keeping you with words? Embracing you on the sheet of this paper, a tentative kiss on cold lips, the cuddling of cadavers? In the film, the woman says loving the dead is “like looking into the sun without going blind, is like diving into a lake, sudden cold, then silence.” She says it was addictive. I know about the cold and quiet afterward, how you were a drug. If she was spellbound by the dead, who would say I wasn’t, trying to revive, resuscitate someone not alive who couldn’t feel or care with only the shell of the body. Here, where no body can see, I could be licking your dead body driving thru a car wash. I could be whispering to the man across the aisle, “bodies are addictive.” Our word for the loved and the dead are the same, the beloved, and once you had either while you have them, you don’t need any other living people in your life — Lyn Lifshin

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— S.C.R. 1975 - 2003

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Cathedral I Don’t understand why you need to conceal when my words have sought to heal. How you need to withdraw and hurt, cancel transmission, frame your spurt. My tears are your lacerations. You seem to want to denigrate, whilst you know you are my shrew and that I could never disabuse you. Still you lash me black and blue. One word from you would ease my agony, yet you choose to refuse, and insist that you love me true. II They say you are high maintenance, a wounded aristocrat, and that I am tenacious, inferior. I miss you. They say that if you were committed that you would not hesitate. My headache wrung out like a sponge, dripping with uncertainties, distance. Oh how I cried my eyes out for that self-hurt, and yet supported you through sheer agony. When you spoke movingly that day I should have understood. I forgot to question, drifted into insular, singular habits. You were too significant to neglect and lose. You had my heart inside your hand and had to let it go. You spoke movingly and began to heal. You say that we are between platinum and magnesium searching for bioelectricity. Sarah messages that Ian has dumped her and she is devastated. My heart sinks. I want to tell her that I have made the biggest mistake of my life accusing you of having an affair. I tell her later and get no response. I have touched Sarah but I have not touched you and that hurts. I ache for you. Sarah is hurting and as low as can be. I am tense and drained. She is clearly broken beyond despair. I offer all the strength and positivity that I can muster. Finally, I say that I need a stiff drink and get a laugh. My headache is lifting. You have intense period pain. I am losing you and you are losing me and we are holding on to the cathedral. We speak, adjust and release. Things improve. You say that you love me to bits; my palm shy of your hips. I wish that you could be more comfortable in your body, accept my unconditional love and that our beginnings never cease. I still believe that the stars will realign to bring us back together and that we can be the happiest couple in the world. — David Caddy

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FROM THE MATTRESS ON THE FLOOR UNDER THE FLAMING SKY PHOTOS rain blurs moon and dark, eyes dark as licorice or water in an old mine. A stranger reading Lorca in Spanish on the phone. Later my hands smelled like him, cinnamon skin. The dog barked thru damp sheets. I got wet, fingers on my skin. “you all horned up.” If I’d thought twice I wouldn’t have in my leather skirt and high heels, pink “what are those, barrettes?” he asked pulling rose clips from my hair. “And your scent,” he was pressing the strangest flowers, pulled my hair, tilted forsythia dripping like my hair, as I fell out of what held me — Lyn Lifshin

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Refrigerator Magnets #I My drink is empty You bite And shove me violently You murmur How do you want it? Your body Is ready and grinding Your dirty eyes Penetrate my naked thighs I pull away in fear But silently whisper Please God Make Me Come. — Corinne Wallace

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WITH SO MANY VOICES The play switches so fast I couldn't remember what part I was cast in, your words, like a lid over my eye so I had to feel where I was going, learning which tone curled like a lip, like a Polaroid in a hot damp room rain leaks in. I moved by touch, could have been blind folded on a velvet couch with no panties on, legs on silk pillows gilt chains spiraled from, being entered by strangers, my dark parts throbbing like a throat exploding in a rash of roses — Lyn Lifshin

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Toad at the Controls Toad notices on the telecast Of the Academy Awards That the success of the Silent Film, The Artist, has brought back into fashion The diaphanous bodices of that era. Especially exciting is the tease Of letting half a nipple slip half-naked— Almost invisible—almost an optical illusion— From the breast of an exquisitely trim French ingénue. Toad almost starts beating off In the midst of the annual Family Gathering for the Oscars. A woman’s nipples, He long ago discovered, Are the minor keys to a woman’s arousal. You can play her as you would An electronic instrument—a synthesizer Or amplifier or multi-mediator— With a virtually infinite variety Of stimulating manipulations: Circling them, lightly brushing them, Turning them, lifting them by their tips, Flattening them, twisting them, Licking a liqueur from them, Rubbing an elicit poultice into them, Garnishing them with a habanera salsa, Attaching clips to them, Attaching gold chains to the clips, Attaching these chains to lips— North and south—navel and clit, Leading her on hands and knees Around the mansion, the dungeon, the garden, Sending electrical charges At unsuspected intervals Through hot metals to the Nearly melting flesh; You can bring her to orgasm, From the pink buds down and out To multiple comings and goings, Spastic spasms, more than she wants,

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More than she can stand, Until she cries out in exhaustion, And you let her fall limp upon The cold concrete of her cave. But this is not a one-way wonderland! She can tie you, gag you, crucify you, Spin your crucifix, nibble your Nipples with her whitened, sharpened overbite, Bleed them till you cry out like a girl, Near the panic of their being permanently Separated from this champagne/caviar of delights, Tossed aside as treats to snarling mastiffs, As she works her way down now To where your groin-brain throbs in terror As your glands swell as in resignation To the last though most explosive blast Of their expiring existence, Augmented by an anal fireworks display. The Artist was an overrated flick, Three stars at best, But its influence upon the nuclear enslavement Of a man or woman to these Oft-neglected morsels of erectile tissue, The Hershey’s Kisses of the Sherotic/Herotic life, Warrants a new constellation in the Night Sky, One named perhaps in honor of Kim Basinger. — Gerald Locklin

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Dear Diary I gave up poetry, today, for submissive BDSM sex. This new passion has to be less painful, less humiliating, and with far less rejection. — Kenneth P. Gurney

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— naro

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Aftermath I lay in the bed, my head turned away from her Fresh welts forcing their way through the skin of my back Tears sting my eyes as my throat stifles a whimper The burning handprint on my cheek growing a brighter shade of red I hear her cross the room twice, gathering her belongings The click of her heel across the floor is too much to bear The zip of her bag drives me insane We’ve played this game before. I still don’t know who wins. She clears her throat and gently taps her toe at the foot of the bed “The money’s on the dresser,” I barely choke out The paper shuffles as she counts the bills, no words are spoken as she leaves When the door clicks shut, my heart breaks. I think I’m in love. — Brian Verwiel

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A Short History Of The Anti-Book League I once had, no wait a minute let me rephrase that; once upon a-time I had a part-time job in a book shop. I considered it a position of power and influence because I could slip explicit photographs of sex change operations into copies of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, with full colour detailed references of how to turn a penis into a vagina in glorious close-ups accompanied with full medical procedural explanations as well as psychological profiles for the hard of comprehending. Having used up my supply of these photographs I turned my attention to another set in my possession, that of pus oozing STD infections, which I deposited inside copies of Breaking Dawn (Twilight Saga). Thirsty for bodily fluids? With all these photographs deployed I then set about placing earwig eggs into Miffy In The Garden, rat flea eggs in Miffy At The Zoo, smearing E.coli bacteria onto pages of Miffy In Hospital, and fake telegrams saying: ‘your parents are dead’ into copies of Miffy Is Crying. One day I was called into see the boss. He had a breakfast stain on his tie and smelt of aftershave. I sat opposite his desk and when I crossed my legs his eyes crawled all the way up to the hem of my skirt. He said: ‘Charlotte, I know what you’ve been putting in the books and this has to stop.’ I started cutting out the final pages of murder mystery books with a craft knife. The boss called me into his office again. He leered at my legs again to which I returned a look of utter disdain. He told me I was sacked, then told said ‘sorry’ to my tits. Well if that doesn’t prove that books aren’t fun I don’t what does. This is how the AntiBook League was formed, and what follows is the outline of the Anti-Book League manifesto: STOP wasting your time reading stupid books and watch cartoons instead. Cartoons are life. Flick art. IF you’re gonna be a sad loner; self harm. Cuts are cool. Old skool. Paper cuts; it’s what books were made for. IF you really don’t like blood and pain (pussy) find hundreds of friends on Facebook that you’ll never know. Yeah you like that. Twitter it. INVENT a reality where you win in a video game and rule the world. If no one believes you. Kill them. Kill them all. WATCH porn on-line whilst furiously masturbating to achieve a state of bliss. Anal, bondage, and watersports are the preferred options to a strong wrist and a

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healthy mind. Call it erotica or a study of fucking in blue. And then I thought the Anti-Book League should have a slogan. Easy to remember. Something that would fit on a tee shirt: BOOKS is DUMB. Please donate lots of money and follow the League on Facebook. Do it TODAY. — Charlotte De’Ath

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Bookseller’s Dream I was sitting behind my register trying to look busy, when this woman approached the counter she had thick black hair, that framed the delicate bend of her face to a wide plump slash of red lips huge fake tits spilling from a low cut v-neck. She put Fifty Shades of Grey down, and I was momentarily lost in all that cleavage. "Hi," she said. "Hello, you find everything okay?" "Oh yea, I've been dying to read this." I nodded taking the book behind the counter scanned it and imagined her body stretched out Greek olive skin against my black sheets legs hands cuffed to my bed. A single finger of mine tracing the curve of her smile her legs her breasts. I hear her whisper,

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"How much do I owe you?" The register read: $17.50. and she handed me a twenty. "So, are you into this stuff?" I asked, handing back her change. "Oh yea, I love romance novels." She grabbed her book and smiled goodbye, and I watched her healthy plump ass sway from left to right left to right. "Excuse me," demanded a shrill voice. "Is this line open?" A worn silver haired woman stepped up and tossed the same title at me. "I just love the real dirty parts," she continued. "me too," I whispered under my breath. — Jeffrey Graessley

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I met her at an S/m club I remember her hair was red though I might have mixed this up with the red leather of the St. Andrew’s cross she was strapped to. Still, there was no confusing the avalanche of cleavage that rushed to the brim of her corset. Thank God her eyes were closed, her body enduring the exhale of a cat o’ nine tails. They say human ears can’t handle the sounds of heaven; so much beauty is painful. — Shannon Therese

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PRIVATE DANCE Before the music cues her seduction, she asks me what I do. I’m not sure why. Maybe silence before touching a stranger is unbearable to her, or perhaps she thinks I’ll enjoy it more if we pretend she cares. I won’t. I am here for the friction. When I tell her I’m a writer, the word is a shield I brace behind, hoping she does not advance further. I hate going into more detail— how faces become geometry quizzes I must show all my work for in order to prove the legitimacy of my answer. What do you write? The song starts, and so do her hips. A strip club is no place for ars poetica, but she persists. Her eyes are the ledges men jump from when desperate to escape what awaits them at home. I am no exception. Poetry. She leans in close enough to count the freckles on her breasts, even in all this dark. Will you write a poem about me? No. I say. There’s no metaphor in this. Just skin. She presses hers to mine. Pulse and pause,

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pulse and pause. Like morse code. Writes me a novella of touch. Proves just how wrong I am. — Eric Morago

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Before He Comes Home On the floor, Where your naked thighs Meet my naked thighs And somewhere in the background The cheese is melting, The kettle is screaming. Your laughter is the spill Of coffee beans on linoleum. The poetry of us can’t be Poured out in stanzas messy enough, Sloppy enough. I’m not done with you And it doesn’t matter if the Soup is hot Or the sex is cold-blooded. — Charlotte San Juan

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ON THE QUILT OF BLUE FLOWERS rain sloshing through black walnuts, cherries on white stones. Stillness, green as the palm except for the dripping. Lie there and spread those legs wide. What do you think when I'm touching now you're tied down you can't, you want me in deeper more honey. Your cunt reaching up and begging wetter than leaves surrendering opening wider do you like wetter a wet rose loud as water in the maples I didn't have that many women but I read a lot — Lyn Lifshin

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— mexifornianqueen

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CONTRIBUTORS David Caddy is a poet, critic and editor. His latest books are Man in Black (Penned In The Margins 2007) and The Bunny Poems (Shearsman Books 2011). His collection of essays, So Here We Are, is due from Shearsman Books in 2012. He edits Tears in the Fence magazine. Charlotte De’Ath was born in the east end of London but now lives in an idyllic cottage situated deep in the beautiful Suffolk countryside. She has published one chapbook Kicks To Hypnotise Suburban Daughters by Erbacce Press, another of dark urban fairy tales is in the making. She is one of the founders of the Clueless Collective at: www.cluelesscollective.co.uk. Jeffrey Graessley is a lowlife from Southern California. His latest works can be found in Filthy Secret Books and Turbulence Magazine. When not running with the wild dogs on the streets, he enjoys a quiet evening alone with a bottle of cheap wine and some Bukowski to make him feel better about himself. He is often seen shouting on street corners, urging people to accept themselves for the creatures they are. http://www.kpgurney.me/Poet/Welcome.html Rose Hesse is a graphic designer living in Seattle. http://www.lynlifshin.com/ http://www.geraldlocklin.org/ http://mexifornianqueen.tumblr.com/ Bill Mohr received his PhD in Literature from the University of California, San Diego. His critical and creative work has appeared in dozens of magazines, including the Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, Chicago Review, Santa Monica Review, Sonora Review, William Carlos Williams Review and ZYZZYVA. As editor of Momentum Press from 1974-1988, he received four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and published two major anthologies of Southern California poets. His book and audio recording collections include Hidden Proofs, Thoughtful Outlaw, Vehemence, and a chapbook, Bittersweet Kaleidoscope. http://www.ericmorago.com/ naro is a young artist living in Arizona. Charlotte San Juan currently haunts Whittier College and has been published in Solo Novo's 122 Days, Turbulence, Verdad, and some other gracious places. Whatever

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else there is to know about her is often whispered behind closed doors or etched in secret code in her fingernail paint. S.C.R. 1975—2003 Raised by a gaggle of bears in the heart of Orange County, Brian Verwiel witnessed his first mauling at the age of 4. Since then, his severely underdeveloped mind has often times taken him to the very depths of humanity. He finds joy in the places others would only find fear and horror. Corinne Wallace is a young Poet and Creative Jewelry Designer in the Northwest, and she primarily draws her inspiration from Northwestern Culture. Her writing generally reflects sarcasm, chaos, and love, and the underlying theme of balance through contradiction is present in nearly all pieces she creates.

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