The Journal of the Hemlock Homebrewing Society #1

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Š 2015 The Journal of the Hemlock Homebrewing Society Athens, OH

EDITOR’S NOTE Jamie Hunyor Hemlock Homebrew began as an assignment for Dinty Moore’s Literary Editing and Publishing course at Ohio University. Our one requirement for the semester-long project: create a literary delivery device. I took to Tumblr to spread the word and solicit work from a few writers I admire on the site. I’m happy to share their words with you here. I also received surprising submissions from those I’ve been published with in the past and from writers I recognized but never thought would submit to my small start-up venture. The small press literary world may be stuffed full of hundreds (if not thousands) of publications but my experience with Hemlock Homebrew has shown me it’s not that big of a pond after all. I also received phenomenal work from those I had no previous association with and, again, I’m happy to share their words with you here. After the influx of jaw-dropping work I’ve received for this publication I’ve decided to put out a second issue at the end of the summer before my final semester of undergrad begins. Keep your eyes open for the next edition of The Journal of the Hemlock Homebrewing Society sometime in the middle of August 2015. Thanks for reading!


Three by B.T. Joy One by Aditi Nagrath Two by Michael Berkowitz One by Elizabeth Hunyor Two by John Grey Two by Allison Friske Two by Howie Good Four by W. Jack Savage One by Jacob Forquer One by Catherine Bowen Emanuel Five by Richard King Perkins II One by Kara Guyton Two by Scherezade Siobhan One by Scherezade Siobhan & Brooks Lampe

2 5 6 11 12 15 16 18 22 23 24 29 30 32

ERASURE B.T. Joy Where bristles had applied the paint, laid down the yellow of you like a line of song, painstaked a hundred hours to make pixels congregate, so the brush’s inverse side will scrape and gouge and slide and roll away the faintest memory. There’s no such thing as blackness; only darkened colour. White is only an incredible lightness that forgets its shade. You’ll never be anything for too long. The artist’s thumbnail fidgets with the canvas flowers. Longing for something indescribable, a man with no talent enters the national gallery and punches through a Monet. He’s only a cell, but then so are the waterlilies. Your bones also are rivered with caustic toxins. In the finish a grave will rocket up and find you in the way that a koi in Hokusai rises to close its jaws on something drifting in the pool.


ENGLISH UNDERGRADS PREPARE FOR SPRING BREAK B.T. Joy Students sit cross legged on the playing fields and by the fences couples talk so close that bodies touch. Trees on either roadside are partings in messy hair and tongues of tough hibiscus is the ozone caught in that. Friends are carrying book loads to the library stalls and the morning moon is a tall thumbprint on the air.


IMAGINE HIM AS SOLID AS YOU ARE B.T. Joy What if you don’t love him? What if you love his skin and teeth? What if you find even his mind is physical? First of all don’t blame yourself. This life is all just time and materials. We’re not here to be ineffable but to build something that can be seen and felt. Maybe you’re afraid of this affection because approaching his lakeshore you thought in terms of depth. Not seeing yet that he is ice from shore to shore; that your feet will touch him and be held; that his arms were made to carry the red stones that are your body.


SUDDENLY, A BIRD Aditi Nagrath I stumble, laces caught under the sole of my wrong foot, and only barely manage to not fall flat against the floor. (There is no ribbon around the moment’s waist: this much, I have come to terms with.) The questions we usually jam our mouths shut with tumble out on accident— I hold my arms out and herd as many back as possible. / Some things come with the intention of being forgotten so snug about them that their absence slips by without notice. He is not one of them though. / A bird lands gently onto my porch and the ground trembles. A bird lands gently onto my porch and suddenly, I am not quite the same anymore. A bird lands gently onto my porch and suddenly, I cannot remember what I came here for. / I would tell you the tale of the fawn during fall, but its lanky legs were too short to carry the entirety of the myth. So, here is what I offer you: a patch of fur, a burnt-orange leaf, and a pool of blood so beautiful that even the sun tips her head over to catch a glance. / The weight of my desires snaps the strings of the balance. I apologize, out loud, to no one in particular. From the distance, I hear an echo. Somehow, even shadows seem to have guilt taped onto them. I am many things, but alone is not one of them. Not as long as there are walls to bounce my own voice back at me. / I move into future, into further. I drag my body along with me, and you along with it. There is a peculiar strength in exhaustion. It leaves its stench on all the necks that I lay my teeth on. (Once, I found myself draped in the smell of another. I have not yet found a warmer blanket.) / I dream of him sinking his fingers into my flesh, as if to pry it off; I wake up before I am naked. / I apply rouge on my cheeks and dance. I julienne my sentences. Offer words. Sliced. They do not pretend to listen; they only watch. The waltz I waltz without plan must be quite the show to be a spectator of. / I would rather be my mother’s laughter than her daughter. / I blindfold myself with the night and walk through the dark. I find his hand in mine— and suddenly— it does not matter where I am anymore, or what for, or. /


MODERN EPIGRAPHY Michael Berkowitz Outside Whole Foods, three scraps of paper from the same hand, winterworn but still legible, in places:

]ed to what I say that in health, for richer ]r, I like you just the came a point, before others

After a letter is written there comes a point before which it can be not delivered, and a point after which it 6

can not be undelivered.

I believe th[ that your desire and I agr[ not caused but North

After three days the snow has stopped. Daylight savings has struck a truce between the sun and the sundial, but my eyes feel out of sync with the light.

be in perfect ag[ ]t will consist of and bodily com[ a day must com[ sacrifice one ]ht together 7

Be imperfect, the morning says. Up the street, the Halal market has already closed, but still, a yellow lab is tied to the lamppost outside.


ON REVISION, FROM THE RECEIVING END Michael Berkowitz I used to have lungs

bruised but

they were mine I

had a form


now I am a skeleton broken stanzas words scattered

fragments 9

Has this punctuation always been



UNTITLED Elizabeth Hunyor


BIG TOWN John Grey The city never was safe. It wasn't just the traffic, cars lined up like archers, foot hovering over the accelerator like a stretched bow, dumb kid with a target on his tattered tee-shirt, his ragged jeans. And nor was it only about the air, that toxic carnage from exhaust, chimney stack, even the foul breath of the stumbling drunkards, some of whom we knew. Muggers weren't the half of it. Nor were drive-by shooters, their spray of bullets barely grazed the top ten terrors of the rambling night circus. The city was all people, too many in one place. You could choke on the inference. The competition for the merest space stabbed you through the heart. Just trying to be who you were made you vulnerable to all these others, grasping, growling. clinging, creeping, crawling, craving their identities. The city was dangerous. It was madness crammed into every unsuspecting head. It was a torture implement wielded on our neighbors, on ourselves. It was a beast let loose, the devoured in its gut crushed in buses, cramped in doorways, 12

staring in windows, glaring in eyes. Nobody survived it. Everybody said they did.


FOR ALL THE LOVERS John Grey All the lovers I invent All the lovers of my choosing All the lovers in my poetry And the lovers of languid hours As moss on the riverbank grows As in the reflection of the lake surface As affection is sketched upon the mouth As the feeling lives and breathes And words find themselves in no particular order Bunched by beauty not by sense Painted reflections of how I touch the night lover How I touch the confident lover How I touch the trembling lover How I touch the lover at the axis of her moods How I touch the lover in the widest or the narrowest space Even as the heart that is leaping and the life beguiled For you who are the unutterable and inexpressible lover From the gleam of vision to the depths of pleasure This gamut of love traversed and conquered I shall write for you the lover on the white sheets I shall write for you the lover of the inviolate glances And lovers who exist in no other memory but mine Forming a shrine as they cross over The dream-lover and the soul-lover Today's lover and the lover through time The lover evoked by lines inherent to the lover To the lover before my eyes And the lovers I've loved to be here For joy I sing the lovers' praises Like life's pure destination beyond death Made out of rock and sky and flesh and absence



#1 Violate Art They ban modern rules by which we classify life – Take Hammers to Relics.

#3 In a Trip to the Past, We agree to deny the ignorance of evolution.


DARK SPECKS IN A BLUE SKY Howie Good 1 The woman from Human Resources had drowned on vacation. At her memorial service, the first speaker proclaimed, “To hell with facts!” I shook my head and went looking for the end of the American Century, but, as usual, arrived late. A man stopped beside the spot where I was standing on a heap of broken stones. He had a face like a derelict cathedral. I showed him the packet of seeds I had brought all the way from home. The directions on the back said, “Sow in average soil after danger of frost.” I can’t remember his exact advice. It must have been something along the lines of “Everywhere is anywhere.” With just my fingers, I began to dig. 2 There was a time when everyone wasn’t in such a hurry to fuck. I took long walks clutching a piece of paper with an address written on it. Sometimes I would sit down for a rest on a broken couch abandoned by the side of the road. In those days a person heard barking and birds. Hardly anyone says anything interesting anymore. It’s mostly user names and passwords and the howls of a woman giving birth in the attic to a series of monsters. 3 Whichever phone number I call, the suicide hotline rings. That’s the part I don’t get. Then the scene changes – a burned girl, about 10, hooked up to a morphine drip. Off in the distance, skyscrapers loom through 9/11 dust. I have no plans, and no secrets either. A camera is being developed for satellites that can view facial expressions from space. But don't worry. The government can't constitutionally use it yet. And unless you live somewhere sunny, they can't see you anyway.


CHARITY CASE Howie Good 1 Swallowing a handful of pills solves every problem, although I didn’t necessarily want it that way. Nearby is another me that I can’t see but that sees me. It’s impossible when looking around not to imagine some prior tragedy, all the deserted cities the jungle overgrew. Whatever happened to the right to be lazy? I try to tell myself that if less is more, then nothing must be even more. A woman outside the Stop & Shop is collecting money in a can, her eyes like rusted bullet holes. 2 You look up from what you’re doing, interrupted by a chain of thunderstorms moving through the region, something that might mean something, broken people and animals, and the way they stand, and the trouble they get in. The wallpaper pattern repeats the image of a body hanging from a lamp post. It sounds horrifying, but that’s the idea. You and everyone else have begun to suffer the effects. Often eyes become red. So I press my eyes shut. 3 A farmer and his wife, after their dependable horse dies, want to carry machine guns so they can intimidate passing motorists. They go immediately to a lawyer. No skin off my ass. Unanchored by horizons, I ride on a cloud beyond the beyond, where simple words look like galaxies. 4 Some years are bright and funky. But she had a sad little funeral. It was rainy. It was all wrong. And I was thinking, God, she loved life so much, everything in the world, including the air. Like the Sufis say, “Life is a dream, and death is waking up.” Not that anyone will. Source for #4: Allison Meier, “The Funeral









PORTRAIT W. Jack Savage


THE MALE W. Jack Savage


[STATIONARY THINGS KNOW NOTHING…] Jacob Forquer Stationary things know nothing of one hundred miles per hour and can only wear dust as cologne. On certain nights I realize again that air fills and surrounds everything and I can pick out pieces much different than fog. Police offices call to each other to say, “There is a car driving.”


THE RUPTURE Catherine Bowen Emanuel So many seizures—moments of illumination—with golden orb connecting all creatures, plans, rocks—in glowing apotheosis. Then Father commanded my brain’s separation. At fourteen, I could recover use of my left side, he said. I shouted, screamed, that he and the surgeons knew me not. But here I lie, strapped and pierced; the sacred severed forever. A woman in white comes to me in this new stark world. She pats my head, rolls away the bandage. She unhooks the constraints, then tells me I’m hurting her. I look to my hand that grips her wrist too tightly. It takes the both of us to pry its fingers loose. Finally, she escapes, never glancing back. The hand then levitates before my face, its polished blue nails reflecting only florescent light.


MOMENTS OF AZURE Richard King Perkins II How could I be this desolation always, my consciousness coaxing clouds into deficient granules, an uneasy release into a black basin of beeswax and regimented deceit? The surface of stone rides on water in spoken disdain, moments of azure teasing shadow with brittle stained cerise. Gather and push out of the desert, which rambles and speaks, and the legend of your eyes is a sorting of keys, beyond my furthest grasp, yet you would least of all want entirely, as most petite opens intimately, quite nearly, my safeguarded ego refuge.


MOUNT PAHIA Richard King Perkins II Ecstatic energy bolts me to the earth; channels through me like a caressing riptide. This is not the dull shadow cast by familiar objects; not the same parable with its homespun morality— the old wolf, the cackling crone lie dead with their guts strewn across the cordillera’s upthrust daggers; where the sweetest flowers have been over-pollinated by mutant bees and their thuggish entourage of sycophants. A matrix of Hebrew flowers, lost in the deluge, keep me stranded on a mountaintop in Bora Bora. Kestrels foretell the decline of savage machinery, pulling back on a throttle of sensual dime store drama. I can stand here for a near eternity, manifest in the key of duality; vicious in wisdom, sagacious in the bartering of virtue deftly hidden by earliest clouds.


WINTER ACONITE Richard King Perkins II When I left to find the old world in a smear of darkness walking through the smooth coax of late summer, each sunspot was a bit of black ice slowing the arrival of tomorrow. Night recloaks its technicolor history, the rushing dusk its sudden cup. Warmth attaches to the streets; bedewed lovetands and purselanes quiver before moonrise. An empty space at the bottom of the hill rejects it forgotteness in tidal beams like an arc to a parallel universe. When I left the old world for the last time, I departed on foot, on wing perhaps, together with winter aconite and bittercress, our brief lives untethered in the dim stillness that seemed always upon us. They were not my friends, but nonetheless, we traveled side by side. It was such that when they began to float away to the photosphere, like a balloon man, I held them fast by their stringy roots, consoling them, perhaps misguidedly or even impossibly. Then they were gone. Being alone also means being center stage, the subject of every picture, in perfect frame and focus. But there is no camera, no theater, so I can only imagine myself but even in thought I’m difficult to recognize, smudged, flashed-out, painted over; blurred in the nook of a single note; seen in the absent pause of an ancient or in the thievery of moon stealing its silver from day, or here; in the small escape of light crumbing its way beneath the door, the first thought of me, returning.


LEAKING BLACK TAR Richard King Perkins II As sane as evil in the red fiber of daybreak your name agitates memories of my hands scraping across the run of your body and how your nipples began leaking black tar that crawled into carnal ground, filling the earth’s soul with estrogen and old sperm, seeing the longness of your eyeteeth when I spit and called you nothing, smiling because you could still feel the warmth running down your thighs, content that you still owned a vital piece of someone who might have been me.


FIRST EXIT TO DUNE VORTEX Richard King Perkins II I crawl up the shifting grains that could never understand the desert. Why it ends nothing like it begins, I have no clue— these daily returns to the morgue shouldn’t hurt. Black boulders blot the horizon; I’ll dry my hands in the cremains, while clapping and pointing my toes. Like everyone I’ve never met; someday there will be robin’s blue eggs waited upon by sated whales, lacking insight and vision, a giant redness gibbering out an absolution; in stupor at the reality of our first experience. I forgot how to uptake your distended, blown-up pea at the top of the sloping center, calming our extramarital sinew. Remember the egg: synthetic, mutant creation completely giving the earth away. This premiere could leave us uselessly, always too much when stillborn, as when nothing first became silent. Eventually, the earth will laugh again; We’re completely unprepared for the worst entrance tomb: Here Lies Everything I Can Suppress.




DIS MOI QUI TU HANTES (after Breton) Scherezade Siobhan my husband with the hair of egyptian ink my husband with the skin of silvered sands my husband with the tongue of socrates’ hemlock my husband with the chest of a venerated grimoire my husband with the eyes of an aquamarine amulet my husband with the lips of a vesper rose my husband with the mouth of shisha smokerings my husband with the voice of a golden god undressing pyramids my husband with the heart of a butterfly sleeping in amber my husband with the heart of a papier-mâché piñata my husband with the heart of a siberian tiger’s jaws


AUBADE FOR THE SKATEBOARDER Scherezade Siobhan And you, as fugitive as the horseback of fjords And you, the redwood skeleton of a saint in spring And you, the heresy of a crescent forehead And you, the vagaries hissing within this astral velvet


NUMEN OF FUGUES (an exquisite corpse poem) Scherezade Siobhan & Brooks Lampe There is only one sense in which life can be said to exorcise, or dispel by “cure.” Say I am mimesis and erase the marginalia of my footprints. Only this line proliferates forever in the wet meadow of the mind. Every idea eventually catches itself being circular, in stone-bound valence where things unthread in diagrams of regrets – shoals salted plural; claws cursive in questions trek across vast deserts every year just so they can feast for five minutes on the beautiful corpse of a chandelier of antlers; the crash-speed corrupting the locus of every bone. If I gut the torso of this august redwood, then you will taste blueberry yoghurt, cool as wind, on your tongue. And that’s the organ of yours I want to know more about. Spit out the pearl, swallow the oyster. Reknit schematics into the dregs that monument you. Let’s say arpeggio and leave the dongle of acquisition to those who marinade in self-love. Let’s say arpeggio and ignore the photons in a numen of fugues. The clean slate of what is and what isn’t pure in the animal. Say bourbon-mouthed, disarming the hiss that sometimes comes from the aristocracy sneering at our painting of love in the museum of sugar-skulls. Something will melt harlot, your hamartia entering me in sonatas of meteor-deaths. Earthbound staccato.



CONTRIBUTOR’S NOTES Michael Berkowitz is a poet, web developer, and aspiring trapeze artist living in Somerville, Massachusetts. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming from Eunoia Review, Hermes Poetry Journal, Bird's Thumb and Quarterly West. He can be found online at Catherine Bowen Emanuel runs a tutoring lab at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia, where she also teaches creative writing. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Kalliope, The Naguatuck River Review, Cold Mountain, The Phoenix, Southern Voices In Every Direction, Toska, Crunchable, and others. Jacob Forquer is a poet attending Ohio University. Check out his book sticky by clicking the link. Allison Friske is a poet and a writer with a mind wandering somewhere between here and there. She has been writing ever since she could and recently found her love for all things obscure and different. She is a college student studying Psychology and English, but refuses to let academia destroy her creativity. This is her first publication. Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY at New Paltz, is the author of several poetry collections, including most recently Beautiful Decay and The Cruel Radiance of What Is from Another New Calligraphy and Fugitive Pieces from Right Hand Pointing Press. John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Mudfish and Spindrift with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Sanskrit and Louisiana Literature. Kara Guyton is a poet-artist who resides in the trees of Athens, Ohio. She spends her time writing about bugs and gluing her fingers together. Elizabeth Hunyor is a photographer based in Athens, Ohio. Her work can be found at She also contributed the cover image. B.T. Joy is a British poet, short fiction writer and educator who is currently teaching English at high school level in Heilongjiang, China. His poetry and prose has appeared in journals, magazines, anthologies and podcasts worldwide including with Uut Poetry, Yuan Yang, The Meadow, Toasted Cheese, Presence, Paper Wasp, Bottle Rockets, Mu, Frogpond and


The Newtowner, among many others. He can be contacted through his website B.T. Joy Poetry Online and he regularly posts both poetry and visual artwork on his tumblr blog, Turning To Visuals. Brooks Lampe teaches rhetoric, composition and poetry. He is currently teaching writing at the University of Delaware. He recently finished his dissertation on surrealism in 20th century American poetry at the Catholic University of America. In his spare time he enjoys running Uut Poetry. Aditi Nagrath is a 20 year old poet based in New Delhi, India. She has been published in Haverthorn Magazine and CyberHex, amongst others. She can be found translating each day into metaphor at or in the back of any notebook she can get her hands on. Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in longterm care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee and has had work appear in hundreds of publications including The Louisiana Review, Bluestem, Emrys Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, Two Thirds North, The Red Cedar Review and The William and Mary Review. He has poems forthcoming in the Roanoke Review, The Alembic, Old Red Kimono and Milkfist. He was a recent finalist in The Rash Awards, Sharkpack Alchemy, Writer’s Digest and Bacopa Literary Review poetry contests. W. Jack Savage is a retired broadcaster and educator. He is the author of seven books ( including Imagination: The Art of W. Jack Savage. To date, over fifty of Jack's stories and more than three hundred of his paintings and drawings have been published worldwide. Scherezade Siobhan is world's finest maker of Spanish omelets. She is of Indian/Roma Spanish/Afghan origins. Her work is published or will be appearing in tnyPress, Bluestem, PIX Quarterly, Words Dance, The Nervous Breakdown, Gutter Eloquence, Black and Blue Writing, Winter Tangerine amongst others. She is Best of the Net and Pushcart Part prize nominee for writing as well as a former features editor for Globalcomment. Her first poetry collection "Bone Tongue" was released by Thought Catalog Books in 2015. She can be found squealing about football, psychology and small furry animals at or at



Want to be featured in the second issue of The Journal of the Hemlock Homebrewing Society? Send your submission as an attachment to by August 1, 2015. Desired writing includes cut-up, automatism, erasure poetry, found poetry, flash-fiction, prose poetry, etc. Desired art and photography includes collage, visual poetry, [self-]portraits, landscape, doubleexposure, drawings, paintings, automatic writing visual works, manipulated found art/photography, video, audio, etc.

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