SF&D | Short, Fast, and Deadly June 2012 | [Body wRites]
ISSN (print) | 2163-0712 ISSN (online) | 2163-0704 Copyright ÂŠ 2012 by Individual Authors | All Rights Reserved
Joseph A. W. Quintela | Senior Editor Sarah Long | Poetry Editor Chris Vola | Chapbook Reviewer
Published by Deadly Chaps Press www.deadlychaps.com www.shortfastanddeadly.com DCsf&d2012 | 6
Joseph A. W. Quintela | Cover Photo
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iii | Theme CS DeWildt | Nobody Puts Baby in a Coffin // Laura Windley | Tongue // Clare Kirwan | Scarred // Elissa Gordon | Good Bones // Uzodinma Okehi | Blue Curtain // Rob H. Dawson | Butanol // Clare Kirwan | The Extension // Jim Harrington | Today's Special // Manasvini Krishna | Who cares about decoding? // Leah Givens | Prescription: Runs Out // Jenny Rossi | Let’s play Doctor. // Jenny Rossi | Scrabble Over Coffee. // Ahimaaz Rajesh | Not Quite Down But Out In, Well… //Zack Wentz | Holding Pattern xviii | Featuring Jee Leong Koh | Statement // Jee Leong Koh | Photograph // Jee Leong Koh | Reproductive Rights xxvi | Word Art Eric Suhem | A B C D E (1) // Eric Suhem | A B C D E (2) xxix | Prose Russ Woods | Almonds // Howie Good | Voyage to the First of December // Cortney Davis | Departure on Martha’s Vineyard // Jeffery Park | Ties // Michael Gillian Maxwell | The Beckett’s, Out Walking xxxv | Poems Steven Minchin | The Quenelle Method // Dan Flore III | praying over hotdogs xxxviii | Views Chris Vola | (re)View of THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF SAND by Josh Bernstein // Joseph A. W. Quintela | (inter)View with Rosaire Appel
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[Body wRites] CS DeWildt | Nobody Puts Baby in a Coffin // Laura Windley | Tongue // Clare Kirwan | Scarred // Elissa Gordon | Good Bones // Uzodinma Okehi | Blue Curtain // Rob H. Dawson | Butanol // Clare Kirwan | The Extension // Jim Harrington | Today's Special // Manasvini Krishna | Who cares about decoding? // Leah Givens | Prescription: Runs Out // Jenny Rossi | Let’s play Doctor. // Jenny Rossi | Scrabble Over Coffee. // Ahimaaz Rajesh | Not Quite Down But Out In, Well… //Zack Wentz | Holding Pattern
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CS DeWildt | Nobody Puts Baby in a Coffin
I collected her from the morgue and she smelled the same as when I knew her. I put her in the van, neglected the tie-downs, took every corner balls out. She rolled and bounced like life. At Six Flags, I put her on Bizarro, bought the souvenir photo and pasted it to the funeral collage. Everyone agreed she never looked better. Not even when she was dancing. I burned her in the big oven. The flames licked her like I had. They danced like she had.
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Laura Windley | Tongue
Iâ€™ll lick who I want. Lick-spittle is healing; see animals and young. Antiseptic, cleansing, protection. Tongue, weapon, goodnesscoated, to share. To save. Who cares if I do it on the bus? Woman yelps, pulls her arm from me. Patch of shiny skin to sniff. Angry, she grabs her shopping bags, shoves my knees away. Red face, glares, all faces growling. I close my ears and smile, serene. I know. Later, as she walks on pavement, my enzymes will seep under her skin. And cure her of the pain, passed on.
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Clare Kirwan | Scarred
under reconstruction machine tools peel his face like fruit but it doesnt fit if only she wanted to kiss his twisted lips & it made no difference
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Elissa Gordon | Good Bones
A 16 foot sailboat we stripped one summer and fitted the entire interior with teakwood; a contract with riders that covered every contingency, a force to be reckoned with, that story was a triumph and that jazz riff, an innovation. See that woman? Classic oval face, but not remarkable. Watch how she moves across the room, fluid motion, and then stands there majestic in her ordinariness, like a center hall colonial.
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Uzodinma Okehi | Blue Curtain
A box without hinges, key or lid—like my room in Changking, Ching Wren’s place was another prison in which the most I could ever seem to do was dream successfully. No door, just that blue curtain, printed with caricatures of Chinese children and which undulated, bustling with sounds of feet and voices; with death, life, sorrow and excitement. I’d be there, just listening, all those thousands of lives, it didn’t seem so bad to be dreaming and not drawing, to feel so content idling mine away…
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Rob H. Dawson | Butanol
Rick stole permanent markers from the office and, on his lunch break, stripped naked in the handicapped stall of the basement menâ€™s bathroom and drew lewd pictures of his boss Gerry across his legs. Short stretch marks were always his mouth, pink and chapped and disturbingly lifelike. Rick sat on the closed seat of the toilet and bent over, kissing the Gerry on his thigh and tasting alcohol and black ink.
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Clare Kirwan | The Extension
He had an extension built onto his wife. He wanted more room and he could afford it. He wanted to show people he had a really big wife. Of course there was extra work involved â€“ cleaning and decorating. He hired a young girl to help. Such a pretty thing... so small.
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Jim Harrington | Today's Special
Dawn learned her relationship with Mark wasn't an exclusive one when he yelled, "Oh, Penny," while they made hot love in the market's meat locker. She took it as a sign they wouldn't be together much longer and wondered if anyone noticed a different taste in today's ground beef special.
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Manasvini Krishna | Who cares about decoding?
There are freckles on your arm that I play leapfrog with, finger jumping over the odd one. They spell a secret sprinkled across your arm, sewed into your skin. I could never read it, but I see the pattern when I close my eyes, and my fingers do not falter.
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Leah Givens | Prescription: Runs Out
This means I am no longer sick. This means I can fly over pavement, careful but high off the heartbeat. My body suffused with excitement and half-forgotten rhythm, I am living. My shoes remember better than I do; I follow them through trees, break past cafes, relax on the straightaway until it's time to return. The antibiotics are finished, but that doesn't mean I'm done-- until I can run.
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Jenny Rossi | Let’s play Doctor.
Cut me open, you say, so I can see my heart. I slice. We stare at a crisp field, little gnomes. In the middle a lotus flower nods to the leaves, murmuring, I told you so, I told you so. I sew you back up. You are perplexed, “Well, what did you see?” Nothing there, I say. You’re fine.
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Jenny Rossi | Scrabble Over Coffee.
My crumbs are falling scraped off by you in the morning, a knife on dry toast.
u flail, of course.
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Ahimaaz Rajesh | Not Quite Down But Out In, Wellâ€Ś
His life of repetitious waking, walking washing defecating eating toiling imagining gesticulating genuflecting loving lusting and such trifling details came to an abrupt halt at the dawning of the knowledge: My life is precisely the stuff hell is made of, before the dawning of yet another knowledge: I am as well calculatively reading scratching writing and yawning, marked the advent of his life of intermittent terror.
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Zack Wentz | Holding Pattern
“I can’t hold you,” I said, and she agreed. My arms had been removed by the guards, and it would have cost a mint to put them back. I had thirty-five cents, at most. Not even enough to pay the whore, but I didn’t tell her that, and not that I could have gotten into my pockets anyway. “You’re going to have to hold me.”
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Jee Leong Koh | Statement // Jee Leong Koh | Photograph // Jee Leong Koh | Reproductive Rights
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Jee Leong Koh | Statement
by way of incorporating four consecutive words from each poem in Julia Alvarez’s sonnet sequence “33”
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Jee Leong Koh | Photograph
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Jee Leong Koh | Reproductive Rights
Your every move these days is dangerous with love: you kiss my forehead and scratch my eyes. When I decide to pour the energy I wasted on love in some constructive cause, everywhere I look appears in ruins. Love in any declension except number is the new grammar of gay romance; I write with one arm tied round my back. I never had the advantage of beautiful men, I would not have let it spoil me. The trees in the park are putting out young tender leaves, yes, yes, they are saved from worse catastrophes. Between resemblance and words, a fountain; between desire and satisfaction, a tree; between thought and thought, a shadow. were tall were old were drunk were rich were flirty were silent were smart were dumpy were hip were young were funny were kind were there were sad They held everything in common and could not tell what was his from his. There is something wrong with this picture. What is it? Ours is a weird alphabet. We recite from S (for Sex) to L (for Love) to M (for Moving in together) and then look for Commitment to get to the letter C.
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Sometimes we share and sometimes we don’t, like getting ice creams, I, one, he, another, or getting laid. The lamppost he mistook for a husband still comes on at seven every night and attracts a buzzing ball of insects. Saying yes to sun is right and natural on the beach; with the moon in the lake the problem is no. When I tested him, don’t you want children? he answered correctly: the world is too fucked-up to bring children into the world. 33 is the year I came out as gay. Now I am 42. I will throw a party for the nine-year-old. All’s well that ends well. We are all well. All’s we that ends we. Ends are all well. All’s ends that we end. We are all ends. What’s left to spell out when you replace “I” in American poems with “Iraq”? What’s lost when you replace “Iraq” in the poems with “I”? What can poems with their metaphors say about brutalities we must leave untouched? North Carolina will compensate those sterilized against their will between 1929 and 1974. How much, to be forgiven? It’s always the women who keep in touch, Oxford, Chua Chu Kang, Sarah Lawrence, Cincinnati, in the Easter card, his name written by Mom.
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Winter is the season that we cannot make into content or sense out of; spring is full of both, without us trying. Shut up my lips a curse. Would you be offended if I compare you to a certain gated community in Florida? Your shorts are fastened with an alarm, three locks. It is fat with information, this rain outside my window. Julia, my 33-year-old self sings to your 33-year-old self, Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Remember when 33 felt old? Autumn, in his brown regimentals, received his orders and unbuttoned. You go by loss, you find nothing. How I hate making the first move. He clips and unclips his drink. For all my projections, he is unchanged as he moves out of the light of my life. What I know of the Absolute Forms I learned from a manâ€™s body. The focus of a single crocus is more than hocus-pocus; the duty of a youthful booty is more than tutti-frutti. We fall for trifles: a rising inflection, the jut of a chin, dancing with abandonment, a stray touch, an interest in us.
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When I consider marrying the guy I love, I donâ€™t think about what it would give, I think about what it would take. Remember the retired USS Constitution and its shiny sadness? The young sailors playing tour guide to history? Let us be, instead, the ships at sea. But we are the young sailors, and were. Our shiny pasts bring their ghostly crew to sail with us. If this life is the small, shabby sample of the afterlife, where is the tout from whom I may ask for another before I buy his shill? Everyone is eligible for love, but not everyone is loved. That is the nature of choice. This man doing squats drives me wild with lust. I would go over to talk to him except between us there is the double center line. We are nothing before the certainty of death; we are nothing before the certainty of death. The first is positional and metaphysical, the second anachronistic. My own excessive character is all I have to work with, as it touches the excesses that spill from you and these daffodils. These verses are not planted in logical rows. As you walk through the undergrowth, you may brush off an image here with a hand, and there a line. Telok Blangah Crescent has a town center but it is not a town. Love, too, has no enclosures like the names of towns.
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Failure is just another, dirty word in the country where cleanliness equals success. As for me, I swear by it. As if we were dissidents under house arrest; girls forced by brothers to marry a dead cornstalk; criminals hung by the neck for fucking another man. I do in these verses, Julia, what I canâ€™t in life, take you into me in the gaiety of lust. The ants are back with the warmer weather. They will outlast the heart with their invisible tracks. Here we are, Julia, wooed, bedded, but not wedded. Who touches this poem fucks with two of us.
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Eric Suhem | A B C D E (1) // Eric Suhem | A B C D E (2)
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Eric Suhem | A B C D E (1)
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Eric Suhem | A B C D E (2)
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Russ Woods | Almonds // Howie Good | Voyage to the First of December // Cortney Davis | Departure on Martha’s Vineyard // Jeffery Park | Ties // Michael Gillian Maxwell | The Beckett’s, Out Walking
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Russ Woods | Almonds
Sara used to push almonds into her mattress so they would be watered with sweat at night. The almonds took root and grew into plants. There was a morning when Sara woke up in a salt garden without anything on. She dried the leaves like herbs and mixed them with tobacco for smoking. These are not drugs she told her dog this is from almonds.
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Howie Good | Voyage to the First of December
Many of them had the shaved heads of inmates or raw recruits. Others lived in dark, windowless rooms built of bales of human hair. Imagine youâ€™re lying in the shade of beautiful trees, the meditation CD said. Objective conditions wouldnâ€™t allow it. The mad shuffled down the street in shoes without laces. Every day ended in an ellipsis. . . and began with a midnight movie on TV about a failed plot to kill Hitler.
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Cortney Davis | Departure on Marthaâ€™s Vineyard
We were lying on the beach. Later, we biked, the two of us. I pedaled behind, looking at the sky. Far ahead, lost in thought, he turned the corner. The last day of vacation he got up early. I stayed in bed, thinking about the wide ocean, how the waves roll and break in turn. Late that night, a patchy fog blew over the ocean like smoke; the moon startled open like an eye.
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Jeffery Park | Ties
Necktie much too tight – my eyes bulge like a tree frog’s, secretaries dive under desks. Fear the rampaging tree frog, sticky fingers splayed wide for maximum suction! You’ll find no safety in this place of amphibian vengeance. With a desperate lunge someone loosens the knot – my eyes, the peril both recede. Still, they’ll walk softly around the water cooler for now. I fidget with my collar and watch them jump.
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Michael Gillian Maxwell | The Beckett’s, Out Walking
SB: “I think I’m going blind.” SD: “I have 2 pairs of glasses. 1 for reading & 1 for dreaming. We won’t need eyes with nothing left to see.” SB: “My feet are killing me.” SD: “I go bowling, just to wear the shoes. We won’t need feet with no gravity.” SB: “I’ve got a bum knee & my teeth are falling out.” SD: “We won’t need knees to crawl, or teeth to chew.” They walked uphill into the setting sun.
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Steven Minchin | The Quenelle Method // Dan Flore III | praying over hotdogs
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Steven Minchin | The Quenelle Method
Take 2 spoons A bowl of sludge Scoop it up And pound the metal edges together Add heat, desire, a dash of lonely Repeat violently Serve intimately
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Dan Flore III | praying over hotdogs
heads are bowed our little kitchen is transformed into a cathedral I can hardly wait to open my eyes to look at you again
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Chris Vola | (re)View of THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF SAND by Josh Bernstein // Joseph A. W. Quintela | (inter)View with Rosaire Appel
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Chris Vola | (re)View of THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF SAND by Josh Bernstein
Everyone likes a “dizzying, mesmerizing instance of stillness,” yet in Josh Bernstein’s THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF SAND, the most delightfully unexpected movements produce a better blueprint. Glue your face to a friend’s, get lost in hair fit for space travel, let dead writers use your hands as spoons, but don’t avoid the slipstream. Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to be told, “You’re like heavy snow on the tarmac.”
//THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF SAND by Josh Bernstein can be found on line at White Knuckles Press//
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Joseph A. W. Quintela | (inter)View with Rosaire Appel
On July 9th, the second trio of the A5 series will be released from Deadly Chaps Press will feature work from Rosaire Appel, and Eryk Wenziak, and Meg Tuite. As an introduction to the “asemic comic” that Appel features in her A5 sketchbook, we spent a bit of time discussing the form via Facebook message… Joseph A. W. Quintela: Briefly, how do you define asemic writing and what led you to it as a form? Rosaire Appel: Asemic writing is, basically, writing with no semantic content. It has history and off-shoots - see Wikipedia. A number of years ago I became obsessed with a kind of calligraphy I called simply ‘marks on paper’. It was the immensely pleasurable sensation of writing without the obligation of content that grabbed me. Tim Gaze saw some of my pages, contacted me, and passed me the word asemic. Soon as I had a word for what I was doing, the exploration opened up. This is the positive side of nomenclature – opening rather than closing. JQ: Do you see any connection between the natural world and asemic writing? Would you say, for instance, the wave of leaves and branches in the wind shares any qualities with the form? RA: Anything that looks like writing could be co-opted as asemic – tire tracks in snow, debris washed up on the shore, insect bores in wood, peeling paint… According to some, the eye of the beholder determines what is asemic – i.e. if you didn’t know
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Chinese, then Chinese would be an asemic language. But it’s important to keep in mind that asemic is a word in progress. JQ: Yes, I can see that, particularly in your asemic comics, the page seems to tremble and buzz with motion. How do you start these pieces? What kinds of attention tend to generate the motion? What do you think these motions communicate? RA: Indeed, how do I start these? I wonder that myself. Something starts coming together and I follow it, expand it, contract it, edit it – a process very much like writing. I have a huge digital library of raw materials – drawings, scans, photos and I keep adding to it. As for the motion – I often think of these comics as ‘still videos’, split seconds frozen in place. The narrative comes about through indications of action rather than stable scenes and objects. JQ: One last oddball question: what's your favorite frozen treat? Why? RA: Ice. It's easy. What's yours? JQ: Strawberry ice cream. Classic and delicious!
//the asemic writing of Rosaire Appel can be found in her forthcoming A5 Chapbook (July 9th, Deadly Chaps Press), the May issue of SF&D, and online at http://www.rosaireappel.com//
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