SF&D | Short, Fast, and Deadly Summer/Fall 2015
ISSN (print) | 2163-0712 ISSN (online) | 2163-0704 Copyright ÂŠ 2015 by Individual Authors | All Rights Reserved
Joseph A. W. Quintela | Editor Parker Tettleton | Editor
Published by Deadly Chaps Press www.deadlychaps.com www.shortfastanddeadly.com
Cover Photo | Nico Vassilakis
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SHORT | Prose & Poetry Khadija Anderson | Floundering // Khadija Anderson | Hope, The Architect // G. Ryan Spain | Ants // G. Ryan Spain | Hands // G. Ryan Spain | Examination // Patty Cogen | Pain // Patty Cogen | The Other Woman // Mary Renzi | Negative Space // Charles Rafferty
Disappearing // Caitlin McGill | Iâ€™m Sorry // Kevin Tosca | Like Nothing Else // Kevin Tosca | Sunday Mornings at the Rocher Fleuri FAST | Word Art Nico Vassilakis | The City If Letters // klaus pinter | untitled // Laura Kiselevach
| Love Me // Jane
Howell | Much Ado About The Audience In Chaos // Erika DaSilva | The Book List DEADLY | Features Nicole Callihan | Photograph + 6 Poems + Questions Joi Sanchez | Photograph + 4 Poems + Questions Thomas Fucaloro | Photograph + 6 Poems + Questions Kat Fowler | Photograph + 5 Poems + Questions
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Prose & Poetry Khadija Anderson | Floundering // Khadija Anderson | Hope, The Architect // G. Ryan Spain | Ants // G. Ryan Spain | Hands // G. Ryan Spain | Examination // Patty Cogen | Pain // Patty Cogen | The Other Woman // Mary Renzi | Negative Space // Charles Rafferty
Disappearing // Caitlin McGill | Iâ€™m Sorry // Kevin Tosca | Like Nothing Else // Kevin Tosca | Sunday Mornings at the Rocher Fleuri
Khadija Anderson | Floundering
We went to the water to swim. The birds were at the water. The birds went to the water to drink. We wanted to splash with the water. The birds wanted to drink the water. The water was there to wash with. The birds were at the water drinking. The water was there for us. We used to play in the water there. The birds used to drink the water. The water had always been there for us. We saw it.
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Khadija Anderson | Hope, The Architect
Planted snapdragons in the kitchen, dug a hole in the exact center of the floor where some may have put an island. She checked the compass, tilted her head for frogs, her hand on the antique globe like a promise. Hope offered us candy and a fork while the windows turned to rainbowed shards in the mounting waves.
G. Ryan Spain | Ants
A gash emerges, across my arm, a fumble with a kitchen knife, and ants pour out. This is my blood now: ants, pressing against each other, head against thorax, feeling at one another with their antennae, flowing like black waves. Slowly, they labor to stitch the wound shut with their mandibles, tying the edges of my skin together with red thread. I wonder what makes up the ants' blood, wonder what blood I am.
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G. Ryan Spain | Hands
Hands, wrist deep, pilfer inside my abdomen. My intestines wriggle about the deft fingers. I can see right through myself, into the cave of my body, past the skin flaps tacked back with pins: blossoming trees explode
themselves into oceans; stars spin and sputter. But here, in this windowless box beneath the earth, someone digs through the ordinary treasures of my body.
G. Ryan Spain | Examination
sphygmomanometers, stethoscopes â€“ instruments for finding secrets hidden in the body. My body. The doctor pulled a syringe from a hip sack and plugged it into the mouth of a thick yellow worm. It worked itself into my flesh, burrowing, straight through a vein. Its red gut hardened. I felt only the air, slowly releasing its hold on my skin. I became outside myself.
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Patty Cogen | Pain
Like a rock between our chairs an obsidian boulder to climb over explore
build forts around
Do not remove it. It is razor sharp. It is evidence.
Patty Cogen | The Other Woman
The woman she was supposed to be was going to be happy, normal, & delighted to be here.
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Mary Renzi | Negative Space
He unrolled his bed on a rug that smelled of catpiss, and listened to her fucking in the next room. She sounded feral, rapacious. He thought of the meteor shower, and how her eyes had flashed in the dark like a raccoonâ€™s. He suddenly pictured her on a mountainside. Perhaps it was because she had once spoken
between stars looked like faces carved from light.
Charles Rafferty | The Cellist
He knew the lightest touch a woman could withstand before the air around her became a kind of music. That’s what she told me about this man she used to date. That’s why I’m taking lessons.
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Caitlin McGill | On Disappearing
down to 98, the doctor says. You never
weighed less than 109—1-oh-9 you said when I’d ask and you’d answer from bed, three drinks in, Pimm’s burning your empty
snarl, eyes glowing red at night, barking when your numbers dip, rise. I want to kiss your shoulder but white shards poke through your skin like a child’s elbow beneath a sheet. Atrophied muscle clings to bone. I see your threads.
Caitlin McGill | I’m Sorry
My mind has so little space left I can’t decide if I should shower then eat, eat then shower, coffee then work then eat, not eat, eat while showering, lie here until my brain melts. I don’t know how not to worry about it all. So when you rub my shoulders and trace your fingers up my thigh and ask to join me and I tell you I can’t breathe it’s not because I don’t want you. I don’t know how.
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Kevin Tosca | Like Nothing Else
For William Minor Nina’s face was a face. Nina’s neck was a neck. Nina’s shoulders were shoulders. Nina’s breasts were breasts and Nina’s stomach was a stomach. Nina’s arms were arms and Nina’s hands were hands. Nina’s back was a back. Nina’s hips were hips. Nina’s buttocks were buttocks. Nina’s vagina was a vagina. Nina’s thighs were thighs and Nina’s legs were legs and Nina’s feet were feet. Nina was a woman. A woman in a window. And I wonder if anyone can see her as perfectly as we can.
Kevin Tosca | Sunday Mornings at the Rocher Fleuri
I like the old men in the cafés on the Sunday mornings. I like their corduroys and the lines on their faces, their jackets and their white hair, calm dignity, the way they handle their wives and watch the young women’s breasts and asses bounce by. I like the small glasses of wine and the tiny cups of coffee and the big, deadly desserts. But most of all, I like the coming through when there’s so much to weep and fold for. I like the old world on the Sunday mornings.
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Word Art Nico Vassilakis | The City If Letters // klaus pinter | untitled // Laura Kiselevach | Love Me // Jane Howell | Much Ado About The Audience In Chaos // Erika DaSilva | The Book List
Nico Vassilakis | The City If Letters
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klaus pinter | untitled
Laura Kiselevach | Love Me
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Jane Howell | Much Ado About The Audience In Chaos
Jane Howell | Much Ado About The Audience In Chaos
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Erika DaSilva | The Book List
Features Nicole Callihan | Photograph + 6 Poems + Questions Joi Sanchez | Photograph + 4 Poems + Questions Thomas Fucaloro | Photograph + 6 Poems + Questions Kat Fowler | Photograph + 5 Poems + Questions
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Nicole Callihan | Photograph
Nicole Callihan | Diction
What would be the right word? He asks. I hold the question in my mouth like a hard candy, suck it ‘til my tongue is raw. Yes, what would be the right word, or why or how, or who might be the right word, or
you. Try pomegranate, rain, rifle. Listen, the only time I ever held a gun it was yours: I fired it into the dead of midnight sky. That’s a lie. There was another afternoon when the sun was an arrowhead, and I couldn’t stop shooting Cheerwine cans off a barbed wire fence. I keep thinking I’ll die, but instead I wax my uncomely privates, heat up fish sticks, try to find the right words for things. I write words I don’t mean, say words that are mean, catch my daughter writing words that aren’t right. We don’t say this word, I tell her, even though we do and have and will. In the dim of the kitchen, she starts ripping the paper in pieces and placing those pieces into her mouth. What
are you doing? I ask. Swallowing them, she says. Stop it, I say, you don’t have to do that, but she nods her head. Finally I join her, take a shred into my own mouth, taste it, work it with my weak jaw. These are our true and terrible words. Eat them.
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Nicole Callihan | 1 Chrysanthemums 13
And if there be no virtue in the eyeballing of the heavens, most especially when those heavens are made of the same dust and scorn of my brothers and fathers, and their brothers and fathers before them, and all the flannels in all the land since rain started pelting these pockmarked parts; and if there be
confessions are an alphabetized albatross; and if there be no grief in the discovery of that which has surely always been known; and if there be no crumb in the last slice of pie, no grace in the dewed lily, no sweetness in the bitter heart, no butter in the light of this spring day; then, I am the clanging symbol, the fat drum, the rosy bong, and these words are smoke and letters, and these smokes were dirt cheap, and these letters alone are my salvation. When I was a girl
pretended to be a woman. When I became a woman, I put away my hope of ever being a girl. And now these three remain: though at least two shall remain unnamed. But the greatest of these is love.
Nicole Callihan | Fragments
implication of (I) or (you), (he) even, and (she) but only (she): marked papers, shaved beard, took girls to see Santa, ate Happy Meal fries, had wine, more wine, wandered the house naked to avoid paying bills, paid bills to avoid being naked, recalled roadtrip snacks (corn nuts, doritos) and taking solace in unknown places, a teacherâ€™s wooden desk, the weight of something other. To understand that solids hold their shape but liquids take the shape of that which they contain is to understand (â€Ś). To be contained. To be container. To write the words that want the subject. To subject the words to all the wanting. Again and again. Against and against. And then again. End.
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Nicole Callihan | Twice Removed
Because a distant cousin who shares my last name and who, in pictures, tilts her head in a terribly familiar way, has started, in her newsfeed, to ask for prayers
mechanized intervals, to post digital pink ribbons; and because, in a voice blasĂŠ with pain, my best friend from seventh grade calls to tell me she is going through
schoolyard, the children are showing each other their breath; and because, in this morningâ€™s unsteady light, the fact of our deaths seems suddenly both obvious and impossible, I wanted, in the hallway yesterday, so badly, to fall into your arms and be held by you. Instead, I leaned against the doorjamb and spoke to you about the weather. The cold is just beginning. I miss the days when the thing that fueled the poems was desire.
Nicole Callihan | A Whale of a Birthday
where precisely—having little or no thought in my body, and nothing particular to interest me in the stars, I thought I would wander about a little and see the fleshy part of the world. It is a way I have of wrecking the liver and regulating the soul. Whenever I find myself growing fat about the heart; whenever it is a dank, impenetrable August in my loins; whenever I find myself involuntarily sopping up seconds of queso and smearing concealer onto my twin black eyes; and especially whenever my typos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a fabricated moral code to prevent me from deliberately throwing the things
methodically undressing the unknown with my eyes— then, I account it high time to get out of the Milky Way and into the Way. This is my substitute for sugar and
ball. But that is
all cake; these are all
landsmen; of weak days pent up in leather and Botox—tied
papers, clinched to white picket fences and glass homes in the sky. How then is this? Are the blue skies gone? What do they here with the second half of a life only half-lived?
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Nicole Callihan | Commute
My mother assures me that no one ever really knows us, that people only care about themselves, that my twin black eyes are a flash, that even the deepest and truest of what feels like love will fade, if you let it. Listen, you don’t know what I’ve been thinking. You don’t know the starlight rails I’ve been flinging myself off of; or that, this morning, I opened up a private webpage and felt up the sunshine, wishing I was out on the grass, near the sea; or that, hourly, my bread-box sized soul sticks its finger down its throat to purge itself of itself, if only of itself. Manhattanbound on the F-train, a lady reads these words over my shoulder. Hi lady in your pretty green shirt picking your pretty brown ear with your pinky nail and pretending to look away. I see you, lady. You don’t know me. Or do you? Finally safe in my cube, a colleague recommends I take a fine-toothed comb to my bruises. And so I do. It hardly even hurts. Can’t you see? This is what happens when one becomes a dealer in fragile things.
Nicole Callihan | Questions
Who? Mostly (you), but, of course, you is everyone and no one and a couple of very particular people with (or without) kind eyes, soft hands. For years, I could only write about my mother, but then I started becoming her, so now I write about myself too. Sometimes, the poems feel like prayers; other times they feel like reality TV. Really. Iâ€™m either begging for God or standing around stuffed in my fancy words with a bunch of other ladies stuffed in their fancy words (Ah, the SPANX of syntax!) hoping the universe will give me a rose. What? Poems, I think. Why? Iâ€™m kind of hopeless without poems. I crack jokes; I eat too much queso; I walk around with a billy club and a couple of black eyes pretending I have no monkeys on my back. The poems let me be. They rub the monkeys behind their ears.
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When? On the elliptical, walking down the street, on the train, in between pouring bowls of Cheerios for my daughters; sometimes right before I wreck the car or burn the chicken, sometimes right after I do those things; sometimes while the popcorn is popping, sometimes while Iâ€™m eating it, sometimes, later, when Iâ€™m picking it out of my teeth. How? Very, very carefully. Where? (among other places) www.nicolecallihan.com
Joi Sanchez | Photograph
Photo Credit: Chris Carr, Eat The Cake Photography
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Joi Sanchez | About Last Night
Can we talk about last night? Where lemons flew from the skies because drunken frat boys don't like us in their hood aka the upper west side as american as apple pie and colonialism and imperialism and "get the fuck out my neighborhood coon ass
queer niggers". Can we talk about last night? Where white men glued their eyes and hands to exposed flesh aka mysoginoir at its finest as american as apple pie and slave blocks and respectability politics and "so what if you're a human being, you're only a
woman (a black woman) and i'll take what i want when i want it; you shouldn't be half naked in public if you don't want my hands on you ". Can we talk about last night? Where dysfunctional relationship dynamics translate to love
aka heteronormative narratives as american as apple pie and victim blaming/shaming and possession as love and "he only beats me because he loves me, i know
he loves me so i'll never leave ". #truestory As an artist observes life swirling around her, relative outsider because her american doesn't include the body as a weapon. doesn't lend her flesh for your satisfaction. her american doesn't anger easy at the ignorance of pale skin seeped in privilege when it's toys are taken away. her american is constantly under attack, physically, mentally, and spiritually, defending against the destructive culture known as white. her american learned passivity in the womb as a means of survival. 32 years later she paints with violent tongue having forgotten the
language of her ancestors was peace.
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Joi Sanchez | Advice of The Outed
she's your mama, so believe me
when i say she's been here and done
it before. my mom didn't understand a lot about me when i was outed to her but, with time and patience and love, so much love, now she does. or at least pretends to understand they're never going to get it. and they don't need to. all they need to do is still love you. so maybe you don't bring up details of what you did last night on the drive home from the airport you make small talk
put on michael jackson, you still love mj and dance around why you didn't bring your lover home for the holidays. Instead when you visit you recreate high school holing yourself up in the guest bedroom on the phone. giggling like once upon a time. when she feels out the loop and starts to be embarrassing rush off the phone and don't explain why you couldn't wait two more days to have the phone call in person because
you did come to visit her.
apologize for wasting your little bit of time together. let her pick the movie, finish cooking the mac & cheese she loves its the only thing she never taught you to make other than this strange love you seem to like
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Joi Sanchez | Fate Fetted Rock
you dear icarus are not the sun you are a mooon lacking your own light your beauty is temporary recognized once a month a sun always shines on its own while you dear Icarus bathe in borrowed light to glow you dear Icarus are not the sun you are
vacant of all life without the potential to create to nurture or sustain life
there is no living on you or with you as you pull your disappearing acts like clockwork cyclically there is no depending on one so flaky so void of gravity how can you possibly hold me down? ever revolving never evolving past presumtions you assume I think myself the sun simply because you are not you are wrong i am not the sun i am the earth inexplicably tied to you
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tide and topography shifting under your invisible influence yet just fine on my own.
Joi Sanchez | 4:44
we bones be dipped in caramel, sweet enough to suck wrapped in chocolate for safe keeping. of secrets our secrets words only whispered close to skin like promises in a loverâ€™s ear must never be allowed to spread as rumor for outsiders will burn our everything with the wildfire we bones be wild as fire hot as summer sun kinky curled afros swinging in the wind partner long locs dancing on guitar riffs we bones sing a song of six pence with pockets full of rye we pledge no allegiance being betrayed is routine for bones broken by labor broken by circumstance broken by fitting descriptions never fitting into boxes never wished to be protected we protect ourselves our own our blood and bone
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Joi Sanchez | Questions
Who? Joi Sanchez, also known as J TheGodIs. What? Creator of art and platforms of artistic exchange. Joi writes & performs music and poetry. She paints and photographs the aspects of human experience. Also the founder of Art LovHer, a collective that creates community and financial empowerment opportunities for independent artists; specifically women, queer, & of color artists. When? (Unsure how to answer this exactly, so choose either answer) I have been writing for as long as I can remember. It's been about 6 or 7 years since I have had the freedom to take it seriously and find my voice. I host a monthly artist salon & gallery at the Wow Cafe Theater on the Lower east side every 1st friday from October to June. I also host a weekly open mic called Vox Humana every 4th Monday of the month at Harlem on 5th (131st & 5th Ave). I also do body
paint at a weekly event at the West End bar, every tuesday night 107th & Broadway. Where? I can be found online at jthegodis.wordpress.com, on Twitter
@J_TheGodIs. You may also see me arting around the city. I often paint in parks and spit poetry on trains. Why? That's easy! I create because if I didn't, i would choke on inspiration. I've lived without creating and it was a bleak existence. Itâ€™s impossible for me to not contribute
awakening of consciousness. Art allows me to live my fullest potential and manifest a life of love and adventure with an amazing community of people. How? Any way I can. I see and hear art all the time. There isn't a moment that I live that I do not hear a melody I want to sing or see a picture I want to take or wish to paint. Anyone who knows me (and even some that don't) notice that I always have a book and writing utensil and/or a canvas and paint/paint markers in my bag at all times. I create at every
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opportunity. If I think of a poem, I record it in my voice notes and go back later to edit it. I'm always making time to create because we only have time for the things we deem important. And art is an essential part of my life, so I get it done any way possible.
Thomas Fucaloro | Photograph
Photo Credit: kristopher johnson
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Thomas Fucaloro | This disguise
You kicked me in my Barnes and Nobles and now there are pages of books everywhere. Ripped out my heart, turned it into a fist, knocked me the fuck out. You severed me. Wiped the spine clean with me, built a new me, a shinier me. Took my tongue out, wrapped it around my neck and hung me with it. What Iâ€™m trying to say is you changed me, rearranged me, made me understand who I am. Took this big nose and convinced me it was a tower upon this earth of a face. Windshield wipers arenâ€™t enough for the blood I have for you, within my sight, you stick knives in my eyes and pull out all this loneliness making my sockets see things differently
these black holes guiding me to other universes. You wake me up, pour me out, put me to your lips and sing silent songs succulent sugar. You help me take off this disguise.
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Thomas Fucaloro | How I killed my parents or How to look on the bright side of things
Part I: The Fireflies. Part II: I rise from the ashes of the phoenix burns a bright blistering orange fiery beacon shaped as a dying star projecting our thoughts onto the walls and labeling them family. Iâ€™m a father now. I birthed an infant light.
Iâ€™m a mother now. I birthed the infant night. My family is an hourglass that is constantly ticking the orange beaded bland of time, a sunburn in the shape of my family crest. I will never have kids but I will always have sunrises over and over and under the thumb of my father and motherâ€™s name stops here. I am now the parent. I am the birth
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of the death of you. I am waiting for my parents to die. They are waiting for me to begin my life. Part III: We know you are pregnant. We know the dark lord lives inside you so why birth anew? Why a new Fucaloro? My candy jar heart doesnâ€™t have a lot in it. Finger nail clippings. Reminders of the growing but never the growing. This poem is confusing. So is being a parent.
Part IV: Lifelessness is the only I contain. What kills me will only make my lifeless corpse of a body only stronger. I am waiting for me to die a bright blistering orange fiery beacon shaped as a dying star. Part V: The fireflies.
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Thomas Fucaloro | These
soft kisses on my cheek dried up rain drop ghosts.
Thomas Fucaloro | I am not
in love with the idea of being in love just the id of it.
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Thomas Fucaloro | Waking up on the wrong side of a hotel room
I have extra dots for eyes this city this body was told temple but I feel drunkard walking sideways in the rain between drops the extra dots of my eyes pearl. Sunrises are for sharing.
Thomas Fucaloro | (Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological condition where the hostage sympathizes, empathizes or identifies with their captor) The title of this poem is My depression is a cat
The purr of a thousand winds chimed in echo of a heart torn and forest cut down within, unrest this alter ego the mind plays for escape of body clouds clustered together
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to find this me here floating before you with voices in my head like these who needs enemies? My depression is a cat and it neednâ€™t purr sense just lost sense of what it means to pet and nurture depression like it is a living thing
turning necromance into romance t his love of dying twirling twisting around my ankles doing figure-eights, infinity sighs then purrs this depression is a cat that I canâ€™t seem to make jump out the window so it stand on the edge of a world outside trying to get in. My depression is a cat because it can see through all of this dark and make it seem even darker by convincing me of its warmth.
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My depression has claws, the intoxicating scent of scars marred in the flesh of a body looking for time, looking for time to unwind these hands, these blades, these scars, these claws are just prying eyes trying to scratch their way in. Trying to convince me what a better me without me could be. My depression is a cat. It fits nicely in my lap.
Thomas Fucaloro | Questions
Who? my depression What? is gong to kill me When? at about 5pm Wednesday Where? the planetarium Why? all stars burn out eventually How? poor penmanship
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Kat Fowler | Photograph
Kat Fowler | Ingredients
Ingredients: One westbound plane ticket One adjustable headrest, to nuzzle (thinking it was your shoulder) One middle-aged woman in the preceding aisle to make me wonder what I’ll be like when I’m older Do not to listen as she talks to everyone too loudly - she’s from Texas, you know, and she’s terrified of flying and Damn. Try again. Fix hair. Accept the adventurous, bee colony aesthetic (from the nuzzling) Shift restlessly comforted by the thought of college kids on bikes drinking coffee from a co-op on the day of your funeral.
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Kat Fowler | To Julia, on a fall morning
the hour announced itself in the courtyard today and I, unsuspecting was struck by the tones of your laugh little travelers, come from afar skipping â€˜twixt tolls like fat, plump raindrops rolling down bells like cool, sweet dewdrops that cling to your feet as you traipse through the grass fingertips making the acquaintance of flowers
Kat Fowler | Requiem
pt 1 suddenly, the glowing, formless, nascent tendrils Iâ€™d extended through blank spacetime towards you begin retreating; I scramble and slip across loose rocks and shale to stop them, but the small embryos curl softly back homeward in surprised pain. and somewhere in the distance I hear buildings crumbling.
pt 2 the green tendrils cough in a box framed between a thick brick wall and acrylic sheet filled with jungle steam somewhere in the brainâ€™s sub-basement guarded diligently by The Illustrious Subconscious,
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who is blue and furry and disproportionate, who always wears a red cap, and who is sometimes seen passing strange and lucid thoughts up through the ceiling to Consciousness: â€œacrylic sheets are currently en vogue amongst the DIY dedicates, told to perfectly preserve pieces of plantsâ€?
Kat Fowler | perspicuous baby
perspicuous baby, my sentiate highbrow, we are the rhythmical concords of intellect inamorato precipitous heartthrob we are rapport filled with animate beingevâ€™ry word dancing/Skein! WE were made to cotton and groove back-arching quicksteps and sweat-spattered shoes head thrown to laughter -and ankles roll loose Lash to me, quick! weâ€™re going to gambol before we can moor to the couch hello, floor.
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â€œwhen we make it out are we out? we should praise! YELL ME YOUR LATEST CRINKLES AND THOUGHTS oh graspable love we were made to cotton and strut
Kat Fowler | OH in the land
OH in the land of the dead ring fire we the dusk children brush up against creosote towards sherbert and gunsmoke to placate the moaning of sweet sticky morning - crescent thumbnails of orange-shit sunshine. Our dirtcracked thumbs are blackened with pearlescent nailbeds Abalone snailshells dotting our soot-hands and with them we shim-shift our reflective shade frames and sculpt our slick teeth into tips of the World-bane Ah, old world bones, we rattle in windows and buzz in the crosswinds
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Kat Fowler | Questions
Who? A tortured dustball. What? The epic tale of two cousins who canâ€™t quite get their shit together rejecting adulthood and trying to feed themselves. Where? An unfurnished apartment in Tempe. When? Immediately. Too soon. Why? For science! And catharsis. But mostly for love - every gesture and thought and keystroke is an inquiry as to her availability. How? A lifelong inspirational community of New Age hippies, raucous Irish Catholic great aunts, biologists and National parks/Geographic.
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Published on Sep 19, 2015
SHORT | Prose & Poetry Khadija Anderson | Floundering // Khadija Anderson | Hope, The Architect // G. Ryan Spain | Ants // G. Ryan Spain | H...