Page 1

ISSUE 1 Howling Press

£0.00 OCTOBER 2020


CONTENTS POLITICAL POETRY LETTER FROM THE EDITOR CULTURE SHOCK -LEVI HIGGS BUTTER -GEMMA WHITELEY

1

3

THE ANATOMY OF ONE BROOKLYN BOY -ANES AHMED AMERICANA -ANES AHMED

55 56

BRICKS -GEMMA WHITELEY

6

THE PHOENIX FLIES TO PLUCK COFFINS OF YOUR LAID DEAD -ANES AHMED

COPS -KYLE WALSH

8

THE LITTLE SYRIAN GIRL -ANES AHMED

58

DISMANTLING A FASCIST -SARTHAK CHAUHAN

10

CANCEL AMERICA -NABEEL MOHAN

59

STORGETTE -UPASANA MITTER

12

RACISTS AND FEMINISTS ARE FUCKBUDDIES -IVVY EDAD

THE WORLD FOR OUR KIDS -ALASTAIR VERE NICOLL

14

THE LOVE OF CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY -DAMIAN ROBIN

20

57

60

IMMIGRANT CHECK -IVVY EDAD

61

BEGUM -SALIK BASHARAT

64

MY BLACK/UNSEEN BLACK -NICHOLAS A. NEWMAN

30

GULP DOWN YOUR FILL -MATHEW CAFFREY

65

HAIR -OISHORJYO

32

UN-AMERICAN GOTH -JOHN PIETARO

68

NATURE POEM -KATIE L PRIOR

35

THE BBQ -SCOTT WATSON

69

SIPP -CATHERINE DEAN

39

DAMIENS -UMAR NIZARUDEEN

70

WHO IS YOUR GOD?#BLM -DEMITRIA GALLAREAD

41

MIDNIGHT INSIGHT -JODY NOLAN

72

CALL ME DADDY -KETA NACHI

43

TULUWAT ISLAND -DAVID HOLPER

74

CATEGORIES -KETA NACHI

46

HELEN -KETA NACHI

52

I AM HAPPY YOU ARE HUNGRY AND I AM HAPPY YOU ARE EATING -ANDRES CORDOBA

77

FUCKED -JOHN DE GRUYTHER

82

ANCIENT NEW PARADIGM -TAWAHUM JUSTIN BIGE

83

INFLUENZA OUTBREAK -SHREYA SONI

84


INFLUENZA OUTBREAK -SHREYA SONI

84

LATE STAGE LAMENTATION -RIVER RAMOS

87

(RE)BIRTHING GHOSTS // -TARA MITRA

93

AVANT-GARDE POETRY

LYRIC POETRY

FROM THE MEDEA NOTEBOOKS -ANN PEDONE

99

I'M TALKING -DIYA SANGHVI

PERSEPHONE -JOE PAINTER

104

LOOKING OUT, LOOKING IN -AASIF BULBULIA

134

COLSTON BOUND -ALASTAIR VERE NICOLL

137

COLSTON UNBOUND -ALASTAIR VERE NICOLL

140

A GIFT OF THE MERMAID MADISON IN THE 1984 FILM SPLASH WATCHED REPEATEDLY -KATHERINE LEEDALE

107

132

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST -PATRICK ALAN GREEN

109

UNSWIMMING -RABIA KAPOOR

143

NAMING A CITY HOME -PATRICK ALAN GREEN

110

WHAT WE'VE FORGOTTEN -ERICA DIONORA

145

GIRL SLEUTH -CATHERINE DEAN

112

THE MOON IS A HOLE IN THE SKY -FRANCESCA BOTTAZZI

146

SENT WITH INSUFFICIENT POSTAGE 113 -AKSHAT KHARE

NO,STARS ARE NOT MADE FROM SUGAR -MURSAL KHAROTI

148

117

MIGRATION IN A PEACH -JESSICA KIM

149

TELEVISION/ INNERVISION -AISHVARYA VARMA

118

MEDICINE WOMEN -LERATO PRIMROSE

150

VENDING MACHINE -MANUEL DELGADO

120

FINE LINES -CERELIA MASKARINEC

151

FISH TAIL(ING) -BRECON DOBBIE

121

THE ANTHEM OF DEGENERATES -JAY GALLERA MALAGA

152

AGAIN,ON THE ROAD -JAY GALLERA MALAGA

154

STORIES OF THE ZODIAC -DANIELLE (ELLE) SNEAD

156

A SATURDAY AFTERNOON TRAIN OF THOUGHT -SANJ

DES HUMAINS SANS AMOUR -NIKKI DUDLEY

124


CREVICES -ANDY MOTZ

159

HOSPITALITY -ANDY MOTZ

160

SKELETON WOMAN -ELENA SCARLETT MURRAY

161

TRYPOHOBIA -NATALIE CABO

164

THE STORM BEFORE THE STORM -NATALIE CABO

165

CAFE,CITY -RHIAN KANE

166

THE YEAR THAT REFUSED -LISA PERKINS

168

2'0 CLOCK MATINEE -DALLAS DEL SUMMERS

171

LAUNDROMAT NOVEL -JOSEPH SZALINSKI

173

WELCOME HOME -LOISA FENICHELL

174

THE BODY KNOWS WHEN A LIE HITS HOME -LOISA FENICHELL

175


HOWLING PRESS

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR AKHIL GEORGE

I have noticed that during a time of tumultuous change there is an immense artistic reaction and a surge of artistic creativity. The chaos homes the rebels and the anti-heroes as they have always lived under such conditions. The first issue of Howling Press is dedicated to the rebellious, the anti-heroes, and the cultural revolutionaries who thrive in these turbulent conditions.

Our language is a very limiting tool for communication. It can carry either rationality or sentimentality and it is always a clumsy juggle between both. Poetry as a medium breaks this structural relationship and essentially communicates by breaking the very structure of the language so they can mean more than a well-constructed sentence. So genres like Avant-Garde poetry becomes a linguistic experiment to exercise the potential of communication and the future of the language. The experimental genres are in a process of creating a new emotional vocabulary that can present itself as an alternative to structural language.

I don't think that poetry as a form of art should practice political apathy. In a time of political turbulence, I think it's very important that we use this powerful medium to populate the cultural unconsciousness with our memes. Political and experimental poetry is particularly powerful because of its capability to hold rational and sentimental memes in its very structure, all the while being aesthetically charged. I think the poems are the echos of what runs in the cultural unconsciousness of a country. They sing of the dissent, forbidden desires, and the repressed voices of the home culture.

We were incredibly lucky to receive over 3500 submissions from over 20 countries for our first issue. We intend to put out politically and culturally relevant content every month with the help of our fellow poets and Artists


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 1

POLITICAL POETRY

CULTURE SHOCK LEVI HIGGS The tsunami washed everything away. There’s no measuring device for the destruction. There’s no compass. For where things went, I saw a goat in a tree. I saw a girl with one shoe. Her blisters were. Some unit of length, that, she travelled. Chemicals spilled into earth’s great puddle. Was this all in the Bible book?

A man sat in a Ferris wheel

that played Elvis And he was holding an A K

Forty Seven

Good Heavens. All I ate were hazelnuts, but a philosopher gave me a piece of his peach pie.


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 2

He told me that the planet sucked, but it’s beautiful in the little places.

I thought of home. I thought of the snow. I thought of the stream in my backyard. And all of my pets are buried in the boulder field.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 3

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

BUTTER GEMMA WHITELEY

Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter. Speak the sentence softly, trippingly, correctly, and for god sake, for crying out loud, take a second and think of the crowd, would ya, could you? dont, In your north east drawl elongate the phrase into that signature mutter, Sound them out like silk, like soft, slippery butter. People can’t hear the words unless we all sound them like one another, But the bit of better butter Betty Botter bought was bitter, So she took it back, She wouldn’t have that.

Shall I give it another crack? Or I have cracked it already, Because I think I nailed it, the speaking bit, And I don’t think there’s a better take to be had, Because I like the dialect, I speak. And it makes them weak, not me, If my vowels make them question my intellect, Cos it's just the dialect, I speak. So here goes, some free speaking something a touch more direct, All the Betty Botters better block their ears my dears, We're about to set sail their biggest fears.


PAGE 4

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

We are not a dying breed, despite popular belief, The men and women who have earth salt on their A, E, I, O, U’s Those with a knack for turning those simple, smile and say it with a dimple, sentences into cry em out tunes. And if you listen, carefully, you can hear us on the wind that whistles round the corners of old buildings and new buildings, corporate buildings, nod to the past buildings, no thank you buildings, yet to be built buildings, greeted at the door buildings, making my eyesore buildings, built to burn buildings. Bouncing on the cobbles of times gone and on the cobbles of times to be repeated, God forbid If we continue this role of the new age defeated,

We’ve arrived, at the time of the tired. Sleep deprived. Not to be revived. Living in two modes, sleeping or seated. We're muted, or just dialect diluted, the growth stunted, drive jilted, now so very tired, We’ve retired. Without the pension, just some back and shoulder tension, for good measure, Forecast Forgetful just after a little netflix and chill pleasure, once in a while.

Maybe we are a dying breed, once united, now turning on each other at in a flash, don't look back to the past speed, Divide and conquer, Persistent is the need to feed the already fed, And if they can’t keep quiet, make sure their facing one another, And not looking down here, Where the rules are set, Where the rules have always been set, And will continue to be set,


PAGE 5

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

You know I shout at my brother about Brexit, I don't want to exit, You think it's to our credit, He’ll repeat it like he thought of it, And Boris still can’t spell it, It's rotten, can you smell it? Festering in a community full needled bedsit, Makes my soul sick, Im dizzy give me a minute to sit, I’m sick, Which is a no go because, They just sold our national health service. We should have been more nervous, And took that threat serious, Now all we can do is get insured, Because the elite have well and truly matured, Like a fine full bodied red wine, that we can’t afford, it trickles only down the spines of the apparently refined, And maybe we can blame each other, While Boris and his likely lads indulge in the past, Because it's all repeating, like we knew it wouldn’t, so we keep to our comfy seating, now tv, amazon prime, BBC iplayer skip question time, Straight to Atlanta, Lot of hidden social commentary in that bit of tv, We nod along, how smart it is, how smart we are, For noticing what’s in the writing. A perfect distraction from the real world fighting. With the wrong people. We ought to learn to reach, or climb, or grow a few more inches in height, There’s a reason they rode horses at Peterloo, It was to make them smaller, And they make us smaller still, But we could be bigger me and you, And him over there too, United and not short sighted Standing in thousands and not an easily overlooked few, like the heroes, the ones that sang at Peterloo.


PAGE 6

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

BRICKS GEMMA WHITELEY

We belong to a town full of red/brown brick, With cement crumbs scattered over mams terracotta carpets, Stomping above the coarse cold wool, shoes filled with breathing hopes and not quite yet regrets, The snarling children and lesser snarling pets, Whose claws tick tock, On the fields of chalked concrete, Tick tock, And on repeat, Men stuffed to the chest with bravado, Oh ey look! He’s off and its all fuck you toast and avocado, Non of that shite here don’t ya know we’re macho, But the hearts are large Upon grey hard human laid grass, There's this dance we do, It's a dance of the life we know and the moves are few, But watch us when we move, smooth and crude not in the least bit stingy nor rude the beats on mass,

We dance it better or freer or finer when the kids hand out the grass, Come on, now hold off, it's just for a small bit of hard earned cash,


PAGE 7

HOWLING PRESS

Within the bricks, We danced once with family of other families, And the odd one or two pricks, Within the bricks, We found some freedom within a sort of suppression, To outside eyes if ever such eyes looked it was no first, Second or any impression,

But it's the bricks we miss, It's the bricks made us, Us dull young things Dancing within bricks within bricks, All for our kicks with the odd one or two pricks.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 8

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

COPS KYLE WALSH

running running and blood in your eyes a panting sweat and pulsing pulsing in your head your bare and desperate pounding feet upon the earth ungrounded and nude and bloodied stabbing upward the unseen needles in your frail shins of shatter running running an innocent man barking snarling the dogs at your heels surrounded by cold their warm hatred from behind rasping jaws of endless teeth endless razors endless hate breaking their necks at the end of their leads you are backed into a corner an alley by the docks you glance all frantic and pray your last crashing against the dead end wall too high to climb and hugging it like a mother closing your eyes so not to see forming a semi-circle all around you dogs and cops all snarling snarling you dare to look around and see each pair of white eyes bright and smiling an innocent man you stop you surrender and they’ve already made up their smiling minds see a cop is a creature that drinks up your fear and you a black pale wretch in the dancing dancing beams of torchlight they drink up the light of your eyes and they drink up their boots on your neck no beast knows the cruelty of a cop the power to ruin or snuff out your life the power of a gun or a boot to crush your neck the power to crush you and strip and rape you a deafening rape and a hole in your skull free and unprosecuted


PAGE 9

HOWLING PRESS

free to feel the sun on their cheeks free and alive and free to not die fuck your power trip and fuck your freedom fuck your badge and fuck your gun fuck every single breath of air you take until the day that you’re finally locked away

POLITICAL POETRY


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 10

POLITICAL POETRY

DISMANTLING A FASCIST SARTHAK CHAUHAN

Gather your tools, and your truth And sharpen them through and through Today we tear through the totality of a totalitarian As we D-I-S-S-E-C-T him into two And pierce into layers and layers and layers and layers To see the saffron hatred flowing in there. First, we peel the superiority of skin Then the lingering loathing lying within; Strip him from the human he pretends to be Till only the tyrant is left of him Till he is dripping with drops of B L O O D Of every voice and whisper he murdered. Caress the prodigious patriarchal frame, The masculine anatomy stinking of shame Between those legs spread w i d e open Stroke his erect virility, his ruby red flame


PAGE 11

HOWLING PRESS

Embrace his pride, and then- Uproot it From its own soil Tear it from its deepest depth Till there isn’t a seed of hubris left. Anatomize the enormity of his abdomen Be careful here, nothing swift or sudden For you will see a glimmer growing brighter And then, golden body parts he had eaten And chewed and S W A L L O W E D

While bronze bellies slowly turned hollow. Now move to where he keeps his heart Split him into two and place him apart Strange yet expected of a fascist’s frigid frame There was no heart for one to tame Yet a voice- close to a beat One And two And three

And he screams“HATE! HATE! HATE!” The only thing that a fascist could ever preach

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 12

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

STORGETTE UPASANA MITTER I was lying in bed on the day before Jesus was born. Everyone was lying in bed, the day before Jesus was born. They say everyone was sad before Jesus was born, their limbs stuck to their sheets and their skin cut with customised blades.

And once he was born his feet itched. “This boy loves to travel,” I think his mother said. Mother was blessed and stuffing herself with stale cake. She was blessed and miserable, refusing to speak to anyone. She closed her eyes and begged them to.

Fuck off

The boy loved to travel and speak. He saw good in the world and he loved it. People showered him with flowers. What a disaster of a man, I think his mother thought. But she was blessed they said. Folks lying in distress before and after Frozen, half microwaved, labour. Until the wind, or maybe it was the doctorPulled their blankets off with such vigor That the earth shook. And blisters covered my palms, even if I had to show for it.

In the end, it was all about gaps. The space between two eyebrows. The space between two hearts, two houses. The distance between four calamitous actions; Just another corollary waiting to happen. They showered him with blessings, Please shower with me with love. Please shower him with love. Discarded biblical jigsaw puzzle pieces Don’t manage to oversaturate the bedside drawers that do not even belong to me. My heart is too heavy for two people to shower him with love.


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 13

POLITICAL POETRY

People filling up self-created punctures in their bodies with crystalised blessings. Seventry kilometres of arcane, flowerless, ravine where people fell to their deaths.

Not being named Mary is a curse. Happiness is a blessing. Jesus was a blessing.

Death is a curse.

My son is a blessing. The white, bleached-out non-scent of be is a curse.

Such neat little indexes, all with enough space between them.

Back to the present, I train in calendar days. Back to my feet, and they don’t itch anymore. I look at him sometimes and wish I could love him without being blessed


PAGE 14

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

THE WORLD FOR OUR KIDS ALASTAIR VERE NICOLL Such glorious fields with rape in full-bloom Pesticides and nitrates, good for the womb Antibiotics for pigs, hormones for hens IVF, ectopic fallopians We can feed all our friends But not the Ethiopians! Chicken for the dog, for the cat a songbird Hand in a bag to grip a dog’s hot-turd Plunder the earth for oil and for plastic Feel the mammary go cytoplastic Drink bottled water so men don’t grow tits Washed up on atolls with loads of old shit Discard, don’t re-use… horrified are we? But go somewhere else for a safari…. What to do about the world for your kids? But get ‘wake up’ tattooed on your eyelids? Lost, without hope Television as dope Hooked by the silver screen Not hearing the scream Of the sky And the chants Of the plants As they die I rap a bandage To stem the damage Too late to halt The end of gestalt


PAGE 15

HOWLING PRESS

A world falling apart Mined for each part But ignoring the sum Cars outside the school, bumper to fender Helicopter mums pick their kids’ gender A circumcised dick is not conclusive Not boy or girl, but something exclusive Happy hour, short skirts, date rape, binge drinking, Pornography takes the place of thinking Wasting youth on this higher education Ego and ‘I’-phone now in conflation Books are a quaint, archaic creation Rather twiddle your thumbs on PlayStation Life-abducted, addicted to XBox No wife, sucked off by sad-dicked sex-bots Firms are searching for a new assistant Alexa or Siri, someone consistent Music and art taken up by machines All but covid and cancer has a vaccine Disengaged man, lost in vulgarity

Free-time until the Singularity He’s purposeless for all but consumption Cryogenics are now his assumption Pay no heed to nerds, such as Daedalus Solving death like crosswords, with godlessness Quantum computing, higher intelligence Hardly show you humour and penitence Fusion, fission and the hadron collider Babel, unstable, an Intel inside-her

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 16

HOWLING PRESS

Nano-technology reading your bible Worshipping phones, voice-generated dial Ask the ether a question, even if odd Kids will mistake the internet for God Unsure of the technology behind Web as religion, an all-seeing mind Wireless, all-knowing, mystery creates fear Just as Plato split real from idea Upload your brain, Apple, straight to the cloud Shot right in the face by William Tell Your deadened shell cover with a shroud Cos’ truth is, he can’t cope Fake truth is taken as dope Addicted to lies Consumption pacifies While the planet dies Maybe I see through a negative prism And I need to inject some optimism Pendulous breasts can have a reduction You hate the gym? Then have liposuction Botox to make you ugly not flawless Beauty’s law is an ass that is lawless Aristocrats are replaced by the A-List Fashion magazines so hard to resist You feel ugly, your value dismissed Not terribly sure of what you consist To keep this shorter, let’s make a list Big data, Ikea, ready-meals, latte Google’s tax returns are smelling of foul-play GMO, fish-farming and salmon lice

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 17

HOWLING PRESS

Can’t feed the world, but buy-at-any-price Gini index, rich-poor disparity Africa gets hand-outs from charity Mission statements and bullshit slogans Fish-bombing, dead coral, polluted oceans Convoluted hairstyles, straws, plastic bags Vain preening boys and girls who are all slags Starbucks, limited liability Ever-increasing lack of virility Choose artificial insemination

From a catalogue; male castration All men are now apparently rapists Can’t compromise, violent escapists Propaganda exceeds equality Til men feel good just for frivolity Besides, I agree most are such assholes Arrogant egos, really just weak souls Deserve hypergamy and cocaine mums Powder snorted or rubbed into their gums The West is obsessed with glib tourism Liberalism leading to terrorism Consumption is its fundamentalism Capitalism accentuates reward Extreme tolerance and benefit fraud Collapse of standards, business casual Mankind needs rules to stay rational Stop right here: the lines would be more real Undiluted, how do they make you feel? But it needs some bullshit conclusion

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 18

HOWLING PRESS

To prove I have a grip on my reason Journalism, poetry conform to a style You need a twist, or to end with a smile A porn formula, with which to comply… It tastes bad to leave on a negative Pill-thirsty, you prefer a sedative People just think I’m bitter and twisted They know all this shit that I’ve insisted But it’s human for you to shut your eyes Being just a cynic is not very wise Cos’ truth is, he can’t cope Fake truth is taken as dope Addicted to lies Consumption pacifies While the planet dies Take a breather: acclimatize Atomized, you sanitize Find something in my lines To stigmatize… Deflect, decry, downsize So deliver a palliative in the crack A slow-release pill, deflecting the flack So here’s the shot of xanax For the weak-willed phalanx Something benign (though just getting started) Written by, and for, all the faint-hearted So the truth is, despite all I’ve written The vitriol has not wholly bitten There is love, unspoilt nature and laughter

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 19

HOWLING PRESS

Loving your wife (and being able to shaft-her) Hope, kingfishers, flowers and poetry Books, nurses, doctors, philanthropy Sunrise, grafters, honest workers Uplifting art, authentic tear-jerkers Life so beautiful it can make you cry Those who, with impossible odds, still try Sons and daughters, lovers, parents and friends Fighting, forgiving, and making amends Keeping hope to tackle all these evils Finding souls who defy these upheavals So the world for your kids is pretty bleak But still strive, hope, find, persevere and seek Believe this ending like Ulysses? Some of it, maybe My lyrical shot in the ass, baby

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 20

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

THE LOVE OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY (CCP) 1 DAMIAN ROBIN The CCP controls with love, the love of never stopping. It has its mandate from above the gutter of its dropping.

It loves its neighbours as itself, its love consumes completely. It seeks “the other� as itself, a love that drains discreetly.

It makes more love behind your back (so widespread is its backing). When money paws into your sack, duped moral poise starts slacking.

Its love contains a burning lust, forever fired, consuming, An oven where flesh turns to dust, a thousand flowers blooming.


PAGE 21

HOWLING PRESS

It can’t hold back, its passion flies with bolting spheres that sicken, That float upon a dragon’s sighs that make the world’s breath quicken.

Its CPR might resurrect a short-term, needed furlough But long term forecasts can expect a hellbent, reddened cash-flow.

Seducing you with spider webs, insidiously courting, Too slow you sense its tight’ning blebs, you’re caught in its supporting.

It mounts and mounts, a giant squid, lascivious, sepulchrous. It wants you in its pan-world grid, desired, diseased, adult’rous.

The CCP’s love yearns to hug the wide world, never-ending, And so it gifts this death-kiss bug whose death-wish is still pending.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 22

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

THE LOVE OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY (CCP) 2 DAMIAN ROBIN

We love Taiwan, we love Hong Kong, we love Xinjiang (not more so). We love you Uyighurs, Falun Gong, all you Tibetans, also.

(We tell the West) “ You know we love your Christ-ee-an add-here-ance! “ Of course we love ‘ Good God, Above ’ ! He’s top shelf ! (set for clearance).

We love the Body Spirit-ual! Religion is so freeing! We love the Soul Perpetual! (as we’re the Highest Being).


PAGE 23

HOWLING PRESS

So let’s not talk economy, so monet’rist and complex —No wait!—Let’s do!—To plainly see our China-Taiwan Duplex!

Our sound ‘ One Country - multi-state ’, our add-on multi-ply specs. O why are protesters irate at Party-Hong-Kong bi-sex?

‘If you burn us, we’ll burn you, too!’ seems immature and childish. So we’ll make sure our love burns through — you’re getting kinda wildish.

We love you youngsters in Hong Kong, you happy Freedom Fighters, But sometimes you just get things wrong and need LegCo indicters.

Sometimes you pout and push too far forgetting where you come from — Paternal Xi Jinping’s your Pa — you’re bad to fight his Freedom!

His Freedom’s good — did you not know? — it’s in the (Party) anthem. And Party bosses make it so, so you should really thank them.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 24

HOWLING PRESS

Why agitate or stand apart, you’ve got the whole world stressful — We’ve got your int-er-rests at heart — Go home! Curl up! Be restful!!

And by the by, remember this, the U.S. virus lockdown Makes us its sane antithesis — for safety you’ll be knocked down!

And all the world now heeds our note, the best they do is watching. This U.S. virus files the vote for us to start some botching.

We’ll botch your crotch with Safety Law, we’ll bite your butts when singing, We’ll kneel your faces on the floor with tough guys we’ll be bringing.

We’ll wash and cover-up with waves, a second, third, a fourth one. Just watch us grow!! ‘ The Party Saves ’!! ‘ We ARE The Chosen One ’!!

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 25

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

THE LOVE OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY (CCP) 3 DAMIAN ROBIN

We love our citizens to bits. We break their hearts with hugging. We kiss each face. Surveillance fits. They’re balanced by our bugging.

We serve their rights with loaded tank. Our censure takes the biscuit. Our censorship keeps us top rank. Resistance? Few will risk it.

We know it’s best to manifest “attractive”, “smart”, and “pretty”, Look pristine as a starched white vest (whose bottom edge is shitty).

It’s known our internet is tight with filtered vector vettings. Our Fire Wall’s now a tourist site — you queue to pass its settings.


PAGE 26

HOWLING PRESS

Your foreign search sites point to porn — your Western, rude tomfool’ry — So we’ve torn out your Google spawn — You don’t like this? — “Go sue me!”

We’ve loads more website closures planned, each focus group emboldens. So poof! pornography is banned. We’re praised for this by old’uns.

Our shrink-wrapped TV banter cleaves the crisp-groomed from the crippled With stainless scissors up our sleeves to edit pimpling nipples.

Our Party Conf’rences are sleek to mask infights and schism With black-starched, stiff-suit faces bleak, big power’s masochism.

Our love and sex are not the same, Delilah, no! More Wendy! For us sex morals aren’t a game — we’re straight as dies, not bendy.

We’ve covered ethics in red earth, eclipsed good Heaven’s lightness. We’ve shown how virtue has no worth, just sin and thin politeness.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 27

HOWLING PRESS

We bolt and bar Divine Land’s doors to keep our lost souls off it, For angels can’t be sold as whores, and Heaven’s not for profit.

No need to press the pearly bell because our love is thus : We love our citizens like Hell and want to take them with us.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 28

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

THE LOVE OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY (CCP) 4 DAMIAN ROBIN

The Party’s passed its silly date and yearns to last forever But churns in vats of acid hate that belch with black endeavour.

As particles of evil fly, this bat-man-Wuhan virus, It wants to prick us in the eye to minutely inspire us.

Some are inspired, they breath hate in, fall down in adulation Of science smaller than a pin that pimps Death to inflation.


PAGE 29

HOWLING PRESS

The Party pads on slouchy hips, a slack, hypnotic dancer, To Bethlehem with microchips to which we wave scant answer

Except that it will cook itself with tofu bakes that crumble Until its store’s a burnt-out shelf where godly thunders rumble.

POLITICAL POETRY


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 30

POLITICAL POETRY

MY BLACK/UNSEEN BLACK NICHOLAS A. NEWMAN

BLACK Your gaze BLACK Something BLACK Devoid of truth BLACK The Night BLACK An

other

BLACK Scorched by the sun Our Hearts RED Our Minds CASTRATED Our Limbs BROKEN Our Eyes BLINDED Our Screams SILENT


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 31

Our Soul RAGES

BLACK.

You, not me.

I am MAN I am WOMEN Made in the image of God. My God, My LAND. My LAW, My COUNTRY MY BLACK

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 32

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

HAIR OISHORJYO

My hair sits on the kitchen table, wrapped in a crinkly blue plastic bag - identity once, now discarded - strands, thin and wispy, honey brown at the edges - bleached leftovers from attempts at eccentricity - now nothing but a mesh of consequences, hair mixed with small twigs we broomed off of the terrace floor that bore breezy witness to an identity no longer wanting to conform to the centuries of conditioned crutches that had over time, integrated with my sense of self - the collective reality of daily marginalization devolving, intertwining, rearranging the value proposition of selfhood, in this hyperreality of the internet, the hive mind furtively fueled by latent patriarchy, the existence of which liberals deny in “left-leaning” circles and call me out for calling them out, as we go through the circular motions of anecdotal reality - it’s not strange then perhaps, that my mother and I remember different versions of the same reality: the time I was forced to shave my hair off as a consenting adult - I was thirteen, consent wasn’t a part of my vocabulary yet and my clothes, my hair were a undeniable part of my social capital, one that my young stubborn mother grappling between motherhood and self-hood, thought not much of, especially when set against the promise of a better tomorrow - a lush daughter, hairwise, otherwise - eventually a sobbing, furious 13 year old gave in to the the sharp blade of the nai erased her flimsy hair and self-esteem with equal abandon, that’s why this time, I chose and asked a friend who herself had shaved off her hair for the first time only months ago, if she would shave mine - because even as I turned 33, I carried the humiliation of the 13 year old who thereafter as “punishment” by the principal of her morally stringent convent school, was made to wear a wig to school everyday till her hair grew back to “acceptable length” - something my father later made a joke out of as we walked past the the lines of shops selling fake hair disguised as validation inside the cavernous galis of New Market, its typical smell of an old


PAGE 33

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

world where working class realities still crossed path with the bourgeois dreams of Bengali intellectuals, not in conflict yet - those lanes were my first lessons of indoctrination into this atypical strain of identity politics that idiosyncratic Bengalis pride themselves over - my father, doting as he was, let me pick out a pair of fluorescent hair clips, onto which I then latched on the very last strands of my self-expression as I used them to adorn the wig, till one day, the conductor of the schoolbus amused by the apparent paradox, blurted out “but it’s fake no?” we remember different versions of this reality though, my mother and I - she ignores my repugnance and recalls the episode with fondness, though at first she laughs uncharacteristically hysterically, on seeing my neatly shaved head through the safe distance of a video call, and quickly moves on to instructing me to find some rag that I can burn, and mix the ashes thereafter with some aloe vera and apply to my scalp - something I make a mental note of because somewhere I too harbour the desire for the statutory feminine that nurtures, hairwise, otherwise - one that I’m denying myself now in an attempt of deconstruction, because the utopia of reconstruction holds in it the promise of realisation, even if for one brief unadulterated moment - that much like this sentence finds resplendence in the just the possibility of circling back into itself - unsurprisingly, my unevenly cut 12 inches inside crinkly blue plastic bag has rearranged itself into a bun-like assimilation, the kind that “beauticians” use in bridal make up, because tradition dictates that the thicker the mane - the lusher is the promise of childbirth you carry in girth of that sexual identity, one that curiously, Foucault postulates wasn’t even a part of the identity discourse, till such time rigid boundaries necessitated by the moral codes of “nationalism” needed to strong-arm gender politics to either conform or be ostracised - in such a world then to be able to choose ostracization - where subversion is your key tool to conspiracy - is a privilege, because even if for a blip in the spacetime continuum, my indeterminacy makes me Laplace’s Demon - both on the inside and the outside, both the vigilante and the criminal, identities which over time have become prescriptive rather than descriptive, willing, almost forcing the means to be the end, convincing the medium that it is the vessel, the fluidity, now drowned in binary narratives of the haves and the have-nots - something that inevitably made me question my want to be both and none, sometimes at the same time, and at other times to dull the urge to codify the multiplicity of the spectrum at one pivotal point - a point whose boundaries I had to give up on, when my friend-turned-hairdresser made me watch the whole process on video, while she first guilelessly butchered, and then shaved off the very last strands of my approved identity and in a twisted moment of surreality,


PAGE 34

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

my post-modern, caricatured version of self relished herself in an act of lustful culmination, the labyrinth of identity politics for a brief moment - circular, anti-capitalist. I can apply body lotion on my scalp these days, the fear of greasy hair no longer the measure of my self worth. Shringar has a completely new meaning. Ab pehchano kapdo se!


PAGE 35

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

NATURE POEM -KATIE L. PRIOR

I.

If I write a nature poem can it have homeless prostitutes chain-smoking outside my first apartment downtown in the latinx neighborhood

Can it have the kids across from Iglesia Pentecostal where they line up along a pine tree row so they have a clear view of the ballgame fireworks unless the bus comes by Can it have the Bodega bag that flows through the trees or rolls west down the hill, ending up drowning in a drainage pipe, soggy and decaying

Can I feel at home in this body when a pigeon drops crap on my pale shoulder? Moment before, I leave the secure entry propped open with a Natty Daddy––and I see only cigarettes sprouting through the salt and silt leftover from a too-long winter.

Now that it’s spring, people everywhere try to compost but the raccoons learned to pry open the lid to eat rotten microgreens.

Today a seagull got crunched in between two parked SUVs, it waited to die, chirping sadly in a loop.


PAGE 36

HOWLING PRESS

II.

The earth turns every day without flinging its skyscrapers into space, like, can I possibly get from my apartment to work without a “hey long legs” and worrying about my shorts hiking up when I pause at a stoplight on my bike. The city is sticky. Sunlight filters through nothing since the ozone is gone. I watch Our Planet and wonder if the Papua’s Bird of Paradise even want to be lured? Is my heartbeat chaotic?

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 37

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

III. Maybe the sea will flow up onto the harbor and the variety store I get my italians at will burst a reactor & Portland will burn for like, the last time.

I think of controlled burnings and the blaze of land like swells of reds and yellows crackling heat and maybe I’ll feel in nature when an ember lights my clothes right off, and all my nakedness is there for animals to see. My cat watches me have sex sometimes. Does she recognize me then?

The flames will lick across the land pulsing forward while the sea pushes back, like a breath of the divine. I’ll be sad my italians spot is gone because I also bought a great banh mi there.

Today the light up sign above the Time and Temperature building flashed GOD -- HELP. The seagull crumples and silences itself.


PAGE 38

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

IV. Something AM, whenever in August, hashtag: the park. & we’re a foodie city, you know, so all my great loves have unfolded over quail eggs & roasted brussel sprouts. I remember falling for him that early morning-after at the last gritty breakfast place that played Kanye & meant it. Later we took walks by the park and kissed against thousand year old oaks aged completely by stories that we told them. He wants to tell a story so he frames it like this: Careful, watch your step by the duck pond, they’re building a condo underneath the park, it’s gonna have SAD lights––to make up for the underground part––and all hardwood floors and a clubhouse gym. I’m totally against gentrification, but I’m still on the waiting list because like, my current place is all the way across the bay, What am I supposed to do? I nod sympathetically while swiping to redownload Bumble, remembering I never deleted it. Nevermind, for now let’s walk back. We try and think poetic thoughts to salvage the day, we bite this part back into the shape of a nature poem, we can taste the salt from the harbor, rolling over the hill with the afternoon wind, the sun coruscates street-swept leaves until they glow and the deep purple grapes by the bakery swell and swell until they drop. The heat effervescing the rainbow puddles of oil and, and. Are you happy yet?


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 39

POLITICAL POETRY

SIPP CATHERINE DEAN

I lived. I carried and I laid down I mourned. I was ATHIRST. I saw. Empty souls in the cell. I stared back.

Power unbridled passion of the ancients Spirits under the moss and willow Burdens carried by those whose resilience i drew Like a map to my roots, dug in deep and HELD ON. My drive in sonorities, percussion bursting forth from my lips.

Injustice. In how i saw myself RacismIgnoranceHomophobiaicantbreatheicantbreatheicantlookaway Soaking rage into the marrow of my bones

I arrived as an innocent. I Left a WARRIOR.


PAGE 40

HOWLING PRESS

My Freedom Bought at a price. I paid dearly in vulnerability Untangling Knots of fear/realigning my hips

I lost god in the sanctuary.

I found Her in my gesture and timbre

Smoke unfurling, arms unfolding

You broke me. You built me. I lost everything. And I gained..

Myself.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 41

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

WHO IS YOUR GOD? #BLM DEMITRIA GALLAREAD

They hung God from a tree, watched His feet jerk ‘til his body stilled. They beat God to death, excavated genitals on Her already othered body. They choked God out, let the refrain ring: “A breath I have no more, my mother, bring her close”. They shot God 16 times, body limp in the street, soaked in a pool of Their own blood. They found God’s body mangled in a dumpster, naked and desecrated. They put God in a cage and shouted, “take off your crown, you are no king”. They hung God from a cross and rejoiced in the execution. Are you weeping at the sight? Faltering pathetically, consulting the rope about its intent. Are you scrolling past bloodied streets? Weak eyed and feebly willed, unwilling to engage the same river running through your own veins? Are you placating discomfort? Holding one life in both hands using preoccupation as an excuse? “There’s no room here”


PAGE 42

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

checking bodies, not souls, for human verification. Are you sanitizing? Mending nails rammed through flesh, incrementally tearing under the weight of an entire human body. A clean God never was and never will be, God is 6 feet deep in the sins of you and I, Hanging in anguish from trees near and far, Bleeding out on a bed of tar, stiff bodied and forgotten. Genitals dissected before an audience, anxiously awaiting the evaluation of God’s value. God is victim to your hate speech, your economic robbery, your disdain for black skin, you’re insistence on scarcity, you’re genocide, you’re slave ships, you’re legislation, your compliance. My silence. Let these screams... Allow these yells... Partake in this robbery reclaimed and enter into rebirth. Like holy water awash on a sinner’s brow rejoice in the gift of absolution as any and all perceived reality crumbles around you and new life is sprung forth from the mouth of teary eyed, gas fumed, incarceration abolishing, Black babe.


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 43

POLITICAL POETRY

CALL ME DADDY KETA NACHI

[Call me Daddy is inspired by an incident in which a fuck-boy uses his poetry to seduce girls online. His target happens to be a metaphorical Plath, who kills him, metaphorically, or perhaps even really.]

Call me daddy, so that I can bless you, with good poetry. LMAO. I googled, it means Laughing my ass off, is what I am doing. The boundaries Have blurred, between men And women and between a Good poem and a bad one. He can bless you with good Poetry. Between Art and the Artist, there never were any Boundaries. No. I won't be Using degrading terms, I had Promised myself. This Little verse is a joke on poems; It’s not speaking anything.


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 44

Someone Can Bless (in italics) You with poetry. Provided. You make him his daddy. (LMAO) (lmao) (lmao) Like Triple Talaak.

It is not a new rule. I ask Him (in my mind of course) Will you be my daddy? I want to learn how to make Good Poems. I am the newAge Virginia Woolf, a wannabe Newcomer to this land, not so much.

And he says… “Call me daddy So that I can impregnate You with a baby verse, and Violence. And I won't Be doing any harm, don't worry. I am your daddy, I’ll Protect. You. From. Myself.” It was cool. My language Was all very cool. No hints. But yes you had daddy Issue, remember Otto?

POLITICAL POETRY


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 45

Daddy I had to kill you. The villagers never liked You anyway, and your honey Combed words. I said. My sister said she feels sad After writing only verses And not Doing anything else. “I only write poems. I do nothing else. They still die.” I tell her: You make daddies Die. With your words. I do not want to be blessed. With boners that need Constant validation. Daddy, You reminded me of Jenny Of Forrest Gump. I made a model Of you. With your beard and Powerful poetry. Daddy, I had to give you new birth. I am sorry.

POLITICAL POETRY


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 46

POLITICAL POETRY

CATEGORIES KETA NACHI

Divide Add and subtract Multiply by dividing Into man and woman Black and white Dicks and Boobs, and into Hindu And Muslim and Christian and America

Like a knife slashing a bar of cheese into two halves Engage in the holy pursuit of classification Compare Share the differences Make them concrete Give them strength Give them so much power that you don't know where you stand Stand up Find out to which category you belong By which lie you shall be reserved And saved Behaved with proper care by others


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 47

For they are always there Others Encroaching upon your rights Labour and capital Big and small Short or tall Pig Or Man.

Fall on the knife yourself Get shelved into two Hindu and Muslim Life and death Flower and thorn Behave with me properly Give me respect Table and chair Church and temples A myriad of samples.

Conserve the differences For they identify you with your allies Allies are important They give you comfort out of your weakness Make groups Large or small

POLITICAL POETRY


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 48

From small to large to larger Largest

Belong to many of them Multiple layers of groups to protect you more From the winter of groups From the confusion of likeness From yourself

Everyone is alike And the likeness of us Fuss with our lives Make no one alike And join with those who are like you Like the tag appended with your name.

Are you a Hindu? A Brahmin who can't shit right now Because there is no one to clean it there?

Or are you a White? Who can’t bear to see a black without Having a queasy feeling of uttering yucks?

POLITICAL POETRY


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 49

POLITICAL POETRY

Take a huge flag in your hands Paint it red white or blue And come out of the den Shout I am a nation and I have twenty million tonnes of Atomic Bomb So beware of me And I want peace of course.

Don't trust other flags Like a thug, they come And rob you of your something Something? Your something Yes Something sublime enclosed by a line

Come forward And fight for your rights So much to do

Stand on a dais to gain claps from your people

Light a fire and light the house of your neighbour To ash

Block the roads


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 50

Paint the wall Kill a dog Because he had gone out of Tetwal Sink a boat because it crossed a line Kill a rich baby because it is a sign Of the capitalist economy And ignominy Of your poor friends (They are friends because they are poor And every rich man is a pig)

Rape a girl because she is a girl And throw her out Gather more people Stamp them Give them an identity by making them a group Let the sticks mix

Envision a classless society By forming classes and Placing us all One by one Into neatly classified ranks.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 51

HOWLING PRESS

Who are you? Sir I am Indian Tamilian Black Man Fat Stud Muslim Brahmin Verma Engineer Working-class Pink Floyder Guitarist Bottle Ink Tip Ice Knife Thank you!

POLITICAL POETRY


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 52

POLITICAL POETRY

HELEN KETA NACHI

[In Helen, which owes heavily to Homer’s “The Iliad”, Helen of Troy wails for her image as the one for whom the Trojan war was fought. It is in the midst of the war, as described in Homer’s “Iliad” and she is on her bed, waiting for her husband Paris to come, and make love to her, which she compares with rape. She is angry against the gods, against Paris, against her fate as a woman who is always blamed for bad things throughout history. In the middle, the poem takes a sharp turn. And Helen begins talking about Shakespeare, about TS Eliot, and then Indian ministers who think that eating Chow Mein leads to rape.] When to be born is a bane, Tamed into Time, I, the Helen Of Troy, curse that hour when The mighty Zeus got sexed up And spent his energy on lovely Leda. As alone in bed, I too wait for Paris To come and ravish me: As Venus Commands; nay, threatens me To do so. I wait for my husband: A coward amongst men, Yet a slave beside me, to leave the battlefield To betray his brothers, to come here To enjoy the nuptial bliss - of raping Me again – Me: the Slave of Venus, Born beautiful: The thing I curse the most.


PAGE 53

HOWLING PRESS

I curse myself, A HOLY SLUT, Hopping From one husband to another changing Beds, as a snake changes its skin, I, The Helen of Troy, Envisage an amorous night in war.

I wait for the eyes of many a Trojans And Greeks alike to see me, to curse me, Incinerate me from their raging glance, Relieve me from the bonds.

"The human Aphrodite"- they rightly call me Attract all. Love none “An object" For all yet none. I Seek to ask Jove, My father, Why did you make me? Just a tool? To win glory among mortals Igniting wars, Playing the game of fate? Why did you never, off late, thought Of that moment when, in future, epics Will be carved in pages and women Will berate me for what I was not? Why be immortal for so cruel a gift? What to me is that Shakespeare?

Or to the lady -Who, like Eliot's women, talk of Michelangelo Talk of Eliot himself -- enclosed In a perfumed room, a straw bed, a Turkish rug under the bed. Over her

POLITICAL POETRY


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 54

A new man every day.

Or to the lady at the clothing store Choosing / so meticulously - skirts And pashmina or tunics lingerieEverything named, labeled, stroke Across with fancy french names.

A woman said. A woman baking chapatis in the fire said“What is a condom? What is a dick? What Are the bloody tampons? I Don't now. Will someone tell me?” And she was alone Standing in a long skirt with holes Waiting for the public tap To fill his holed pail.

She wanted to know more about holes.

So from the nether-land, the underground Man, the French-up lady Immaculately dressed, even The Minister from New Delhi Said – “Don't Eat Chow Mein or you’ll get Raped,” and we all had such a great laugh. Hahaha.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 55

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

THE ANATOMY OF ONE BROOKLYN BOY ANES AHMED

My human was stitched together in fragments and theories. Being born to Brooklyn’s breast, I was filled with heated blood mixed in America’s bowel and cooled by Egyptian breath. Language is bound and written to my bones as if scribed by the finest Arabic calligrapher. My sick heart was built and taped and caged together by Mama, who spanked me if I allow any girl to tamper with her work. The street performers at Sunset Park watered my ears to the tune of their plastic buckets until they grew ripe and strong. At Bay Ridge, my nose would eat up those trash scents and I’d have to wring those flavors to taste the passing of hot bakery bread. My body grew to the duties of my right hand and left hand, of my love and hate. How Baba taught me to kill a dictator with my left hand, and to feed any beggar with my right hand. Hunger was exorcised at home to Mama’s cooked baba ganoush and koshary, which in themselves were woven together within layers. But my brain was born of nothingness. Lost of any form and curves and layers. Empty as Karnak Cafe at night or alone as the Nile or as unmeasurable as the weather in space. But it owns a history. This type of jazz that pieces thoughts into words and words into stories. A jazz with no name that races for release against aging cells. But Mama decided to brand this jazz a name: Anes. I carry that name as fluid feeding my life, the carrier of my body in death, and the winged soul in memory. That name exists as the brown skin that warms me. It’s my music as I walk down Brooklyn streets.


PAGE 56

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

AMERICANA ANES AHMED

“Days are like countries.” — Arabic Folk Saying

Between Cairo and New York are cites whitened with the shine of smashed skulls on the eve of Spring. The men set plastic prayer mats on the streets

as a salah is made to a martyr whose blood was the first spilt at Tahrir Square. The locals leave him blue jasmines and kiss his ground.

On prayer knees in an Egyptian mosque a Sa’idi whispers a dua in August’s ear: Bismallah ya ibni. Bismallah ya binti. Bismallah ya rasuli.

The martyr’s widow drags the hair of her only goat to the souq in trade of a plane ticket. Her spine tightens into a hook travelling to a land that brands her dead-meat.

Landing in Newark Airport, a bullish guard asks a muslim to remove her hijab. A tongue that once certified in one language is hung uttering another.

Waking in Bay Ridge, the widow opens Sesame Street and commits to note-taking. To hide in English an immigrant begins to uproot their coat of Arabic.

Her skin, once honey-browned by the sun, peels into a sea of sweetened milk. Don’t forget your heart isn’t born American, her teeth-shredded words insist.

She separates herself in a poem but finds only scrawls of Arabic script. The poet who writes in Arabic will soon be forgotten in English


PAGE 57

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

THE PHOENIX FLIES TO PLUCK COFFINS OF YOUR LAID DEAD ANES AHMED

for hundreds that have been sentenced to death and tens of thousands put behind bars for protesting in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. the phoenix flies / to pluck / coffins of your laid / dead left in / soils of war / let her ride the bullet / shot memory of your children / let her sleep in your dreams / in beds laid for your stolen / sons and daughters both slain / without song let her sing / with your lynched / tongue and lopped body / let her play / your noun as instrument / swollen whole / by notes of gun-drummed / anthems whipped / in the dead’s buried / soprano c / let her feed your season / whatever’s left of color / the ghosts of burnt trees and adobes / of blood fields and date palms / let her wash away / blood from your palms / so you can carry well / water from the sun / baked ground and go on / as a shadow lifted / by a goat’s tearing back / let her drink up ancestors / from your golden nile / so space closed between / her teeth becomes a nest / for great grand ones / beneath her sticks / of vowels and spit / let her breath remember / become some sort of memory / a membrane hugging those dropped / who’ve become infant ghosts / let her warm the corpses / soured from cold / those needing warmth from the alive / like poems feeling for their limbs / let her birth back / the opus of music / till her lung stings / something awful / let her go from contact / from hairs of your indian fire / from becoming an ash scattered flag / let her see your prisoners / let her free from your prison / can’t you hear her fading / ‘aghnia breaking away / as newborn spiders / broken / from eggs of ensnarement: o’ my home / land let me free / please / let me cry again / Egypt / let me live…


PAGE 58

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

THE LITTLE SYRIAN GIRL ANES AHMED Mama was always surgical when answering questions I brought home from school. She’d wrap

around my hijab after breakfast, twirling it with a magician’s control around my neck

and scalp. Grabbing the safety pin from her mouth, she poked the fabric and linked their ends.

As we held hands to school, I asked her again-my mouth, a broken faucet. She held frozen. Always

did when I brought up Baba, or Syria, even our travels. She propped on a knee and stared at the grass. She was

formulating, playing and practicing her mental sentences. Everything isn’t as bad as what the news showed, she said.

I knew she was lying. I saw that photograph of a Syrian boy washed on shore, motionless. Did the sea drown him and

the coffle of children in just mercy? Mama won’t tell me. I’d cry in bed tears the boy couldn’t. How his soul turned

the valves of my eyes that Allah’s rain was seeping through. I know prayer can’t heal lesions of memory, but I pray for sleep.


PAGE 59

HOWLING PRESS

CANCEL AMERICA NABEEL MOHAN America’s words have no sting. Pregnant with passion but saying nothing. Always full volume yet silencing. Loud, proud and soundless till the whole world’s ears ring. As desperate to live as they are to kill, threatened by all but the bodies they’ve stilled, brought to their ends over single lost souls while the bodies of millions in deserts grow cold. From rooftops still burning, their power proclaimed, cowards still ploughing through the many unnamed, unarmed and dismembered in a US war game. “We lost one, now heaven, earth and hell feel our pain.” Feel America’s pain. Do it. Now. Or else.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 60

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

RACIST AND FEMINIST ARE FUCKBUDDIES IVY EDAD

racist and feminist are fuckbuddies who sporadically text each other about their days. feminist asks, did you think about the world today? as she digs through her purse filled with pussy power pins and free the nipple stickers. not just your world, all of it, she adds. it takes two seconds for racist to respond, if i visualize all problems as daggers pointing directly at me i’ll eventually bleed to death. so are you still bleeding? feminist sends, i’m not on my period. racist sends the time he gets off at work. feminist types out, if you look at the daggers directly you’ll know how to dodge them, come out with cuts but no fatal wounds. feminist lets the message sit, burning a whole through her highwaisted pockets. racist messages feminist about a coworker who got yelled at by a customer, the service stolen in translation, it’s annoying, he types. feminist hits send, spends the rest of her day on Bustle, googles women’s suffrage, receives a message from racist saying, okay, i have problems too i can’t deal with everyone else’s. feminist realizes she is the fatal wound, is not white, that when women got a vote, she wasn’t even considered a body. So she replies, did you know that because i’m not like you i’m more likely to get hurt? racist answers with a question, because you’re sensitive? feminist replies, because im brown and a woman so somehow my life is worth less than yours. racist immediately types out, it's a big world, we’re all made of bone anyways. feminist learns labour, how it feels like stabbing herself in reverse. feminist learns feminism wasn’t started for her. feminist learns racist is a white jackass, throws her pussy pins away, starts replacing gendered letters with x, tells people they go by they.


PAGE 61

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

IMMIGRANT CHECK! IVY EDAD

Hey. I used to be konyo now you see a maid. Mama hit my legs with a broom, I feel the mark of progress. I will smoke ten cigarettes under the balcony barely lit by a lone streetlamp. Masmagaling na ako sa lalaki. I can’t promise I was there. I felt walls spurting from the ground they hit my chin. I lie—to think I am living, to think I am rescinding my fractures— The way non-smoking ads tell me they’ll help. The way I kept smoking after the-last-one-I-swear, because it didn’t. The way Mama’s hands shake when she swings, because she didn’t either. The way handshakes are firm introductions. If I’m too flimsy I won’t be enough. I’ll be brown. When I’m always brown, on purpose. When I dig my fingers into dirt, pull weeds, and think of starting a fire. Ha. My melanin will make it out. I used to be a maid now I’m dirty. Ha. Sometimes, I’ll get complimented. Usually a white man, but it doesn’t have to be,will say, Your English is so good! [Stop.] It’s wild to think you’ve only been living here for a short while. [Thanks my country was colonized.] The paint, I’ve washed over my voice, peels. Because everyone knows brown tongues that talk white, turn to blunted scythes. Our skin bleached to burn until we see our bones.


PAGE 62

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

I’m trying to be real because it costs too much. The world is made of sleeping concrete blocks and that’s why we stay under the weight of every construction. It’s been proven difficult to slip and cause a collapse. Still, my people’s backs are marked by a falling crane. My people, smiling in photographs as props. My failure is that I got used to it. I see us making disappearing acts, in the name of building a new home. I keep thinking, get up, get up. Nung bata pa ako, akala ko madami akong pamilya pero nawala sila. I made a disappearing act. Ha. Uwing uwi na ako. Going home is not that simple. What if the reason I am awake is because I left? Naiintindihan mo ba ang pagbabago ng wika: the provider, shipped and shamed, supporting a family whose tongues curl a different way. Am I ready to swallow the gravel lodged into my ancestor’s throats? It’s not too late—it’s my call. I grew up in the Philippines and I still talk this way. This page is a honing steel, for scythes that want to remember. Dear reader, please remember that your language can grow from the hilt. In every form it takes, make it sharp. When I came home for a funeral, I was asked not to speak. My uncle said the guests will think I’m bragging. So I sat among the chrysanthemums instead. On the chair, closest to Kuya Ian’s casket, I couldn’t cry or think about the dead body lying next to me. If I looked through the grills of the window I could see my family. Titas and Titos in black, playing bingo and eating roasted peanuts. Kuya Ian’s sister, Ate Letlet comes to my corner, said, okay lang yun, hindi ka naman nagbago eh. I take responsibility for the ways my voice has been boxed.


PAGE 63

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

To be hammer and chisel away at the foundation my harm was built over. Do you know how many times I’ve apologized for my brownness? Enough. Brownness is a cross but it is not a crucifixion. In my language, brownness is loud. Ang balat ko ay kayumanggi. Ang dala kong krus ay pinalamutian ng bulaklak galing sa hardin ni lola. Enough. My hair is a crown of my mother’s sampaguita. My neck is wrapped gently with ivy that taps my shoulders when I need to look back. My knees are held upright with bougainvillea stems that will grow into my lola’s garden. So the next time I apologize for my brownness, I will pick the flowers grown from my body, cup them in my hand, apologize, watch as the petals fall into my palm and say, enough.


PAGE 64

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Begum SALIK BASHRAT

Would crimson sarees suit you well, begum? Has love supreme put you under its spell, begum? Last night his face shone through your window, and his hand raised high fast on your face fell, begum. Look, an unchaste woman is left burning at the stake; what love?! no one forgives nobody’s mistakes well, begum. A Sheikh says shyly, “She’s surely sinned.” and then, by God’s grace, makes you his tell, begum. Go fetch your infidelity, let us disguise it right. Don’t forget, your niqab hangs on a peg in the hotel, begum. In Persia or Arabia or Africa or India at dawn, Shahryār no longer on his faithless lust will dwell, begum. Are you not flesh and bone as I am flesh and bone? What makes them seek differences in the faces of a stone? Pray tell, begum. Ancient bodies lie unclothed in Islam’s modern market place and by the dozen each day, love Wazīrs buy and sell, begum. Scheherazade’s advice might diffuse your misfortune, but you’ll never love him, so what’s the use? Yell, begum! Draw your dagger - pierce his heart, Salik begs, no one deserves to live unloved, not you not me, not us as well, begum.


PAGE 65

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Gulp Down Your Fill MATTHEW CAFFREY

Your pockets protect you, It's always the case, When the madness descends You can run from this place, For you can afford To turn tail to the hills, In your loud garish sports car With all of the frills.

And this madness that's here, Was created by you, Though you like to pretend It came out of the blue, You dirtied your fingers, Found sport in your scheming, I hope you feel dirty Now your people are screaming.

You can keep your posh schools And the swine that you've fucked, I'd rather live life And write my own books, And think for myself, And also of others, You don't think at all; We'll be dead by the summer.


PAGE 66

HOWLING PRESS

A false sense of pride In the things that you've done, And the country you stand for, The lies that it's spun, About the cultures it's stolen, The blood that's been spilled, All so white mother's sons Can gulp down their fill.

You slandered my hometown And the people I know, Accused us of murder; You made us your foe, Though we never once needed An excuse to decry, For we know well a snake When we look one in the eye.

You gamble our lives now, As though it's a game, I doubt if you know For what you'll be famed, It'll be for manslaughter And for sinking our ship, This island we hail from, Its vile stiff upper lip.

When will history learn From all its mistakes? It's these men in the suits Who lands us in graves. So hear now this message, We must come strong together, To protect from these men Who crush us with pleasure.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 67

HOWLING PRESS

The enemy's not foreign, Doesn't spread with the wind, Doesn't sleep with the same sex, It's not black or brown skinned, It's here in your country, With a fat, collared throat, Our bodies add to its fortune, Don't dare give it your vote.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 68

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Un-American Gothic JOHN PIETARO

This unrequited logic, Outcast of covert project In times of hidden frolic, Un-American Gothic.

The We who stand alone here, Sweat the sweat and pay the loan, dear. There’s no time for upward striving, So busy just surviving

In times of scorn and maiming, Alabaster self-proclaiming; Batten hatches, pull the bridge in; Light the fuse, boil the fission.

It’s un-American Gothic, Careless past is callow bait. Boasting un-American profit, With sleight of hand, manipulate.

It’s un-American Gothic; Silken road to lofty hate. Reciting un-American sonnet, The artful deal to stipulate.


PAGE 69

HOWLING PRESS

The BBQ SCOTT WATSON I feel the heat Of cooked meat Being carried on the wind It’s tang on everyone’s tongue A flavour to savour So they salivate With that searing smell of sizzling flesh, But eyes burn As smoke unsettles sensitive sight With tears and appropriate fears, And far off friends keep asking me about the food But I can’t smell what I cannot see And I don’t stand where the sand is too hot to handle But I hear she leaves nothing uncooked As she materialises out of the hazy heat waves With her amber tanned hair Smouldering like lakes of liquid fire That cascade down around scorched-earth skin Body emaciated With tears rolling, and steaming, and gone, Animals blister in each of her taut arms Their hides combust into charcoal And break with the breeze To scatter like black pepper Seasoning the coals of sand below, And even with the fury of this view, still they cue Ravenous and ready to consume, like the fire Like sunburnt dogs And no one knows who started her going No one wants to admit they sparked the match...

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 70

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

DAMIENS UMAR NIZARUDEEN

Fabi-ayyi ala-i rabbikuma tukaththiban Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? (The Koran)

Damiens, who cried out profusely, though without swearing, Raised his head and looked at himself Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? the horses were then harnessed and placed alongside the arms and legs, one at each limb. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? Despite all this pain, he raised his head from time to time and looked at himself boldly. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? The cords had been tied so tightly by the men who pulled the ends that they caused him indescribable pain.; but the horses gave up and one of those harnessed to the thighs fell to the ground. Fabi-ayyi ala-i rabbikuma tukaththiban Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? The confessors returned and spoke to him again. He said to them (I heard him): “Kiss me, gentlemen” The parish priest of St Paul’s did not dare to, so Monsieur de Marsilly slipped under the rope holding the left arm and kissed him Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? after two or three attempts, the executioner


PAGE 71

HOWLING PRESS

Samson and he who had used the pincers each drew out a knife from his pocket and cut the body at the thighs instead of severing the legs at the joints; Fabi-ayyi ala-i rabbikuma tukaththiban the four horses gave a tug and carried off the two thighs after them, namely, that of the right side first, the other following; Fabi-ayyi ala-i rabbikuma tukaththiban When the four limbs had been pulled away, the confessors came to speak to him; but his executioner told them that he was dead, though the truth was that I saw the man move, his lower jaw moving from side to side as if he were talking. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 72

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

MIDNIGHT INSIGHT JODY NOLAN

As i take night strolls on my own in areas where hysteria does not go, the street light glows and shows the homes I know I will never own. As i discreetly look through the windows and see a family, Living sublime, dine divine, whilst sipping wine as their chandelier shines I find my fist begin to twitch because I’ve noticed the signs that I’m another poor boy who strives to survive in a rich man’s matrix. I may hit thy face quick with words that are dangerous the truth can no longer be contained its time for someone to explain this insane shit that is heinous BUT! Teresa Thatcher or Margret May whichever way you wanna say where were you on the day... Grenfell fell. Where were you when the flames resembled hell? Where were you when the victims trembled? Where were you when we the people assembled and felt revengeful? Was your mental even resentful? Your presence would have been essential but i bet you were busy covering up something confidential! You’ve gotten away with murder like OJ You remind me of a painting by Claude Monet A work of art?... No way! But from afar I see a clearer of who you truly are A pocket penny picking politician that's corrupted! and yet you wonder why a riot nearly erupted. Maybe it's because we’re tired of charmful yet harmful sinister prime minister who choose to diminish the working class


PAGE 73

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

But I know what you're planing, I know your task I’m not stupid, I see lucid, Ehe exit of Brexit for years was elusive but that goal has become exclusive, The apple of your eye is financial growth so you're draining the system for all of its juices! FUCK THE EXCUSES!! Ok Jody calm down keep your composure It's just hard seeing the devil dance to a trump speech and our PM’s the composer It's time we overthrow the Aristocracy democracies of economy colonies because they show no redeeming qualities, to them Socrates philosophy on hypocrisy is a mockery Thus I've made the promise within my odyssey, to fight plight and ignite the right of equality! Good luck stopping me!


PAGE 74

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Tuluwat Island DAVID HOLPER Hinarr rrou shiruwaqh rruqhe loulhi’silh dagou, Tuluwat hou wenoutwuqu’l, hou gou lhughiraduk. “Our ancestors (spirits) can rest, because Tuluwat has healed and been returned to us.” (Special thanks to the Ted Hernandez for his feedback on the poem and Lynnika Butler for her beautiful Wiyot epigraph.)

(I)

Let us risk ourselves in remembering what the forgotten. Let us step into the darkness of February 26, 1860. What words will serve to ferry you through dark waters to Tuluwat Island to show you in sharp relief the horrors

executed on the Wiyot women, children, old men? Even if I dare, what magic would distill your belief in these white men’s dark sorcery of machetes, hatchets, and clubs—how they how they bashed in the brains of the old men cleaved the skulls of the women and children, leaving only a reign of blood where the Wiyot had come to celebrate the holy renewal? Yes, some escaped —one hid in a trash pile, a child was found suckling at his dead mother’s breast, one man leaped in the Bay, swam into history. No one knows the number—only those survivors could say for certain what the land bore in blood.

Every survivor heard: the land keened: do not forget this place. Do not forget that if ever the world

is to be renewed again, this is the ground where the people must gather and sing.


PAGE 75

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

(II)

Let us risk ourselves in imagining who dare speak for these dead, their bodies long ago buried. But Tuluwat can speak, Tuluwat can lift its ancient voice out of the gloom of the fog, can sing to those imprisoned in Fort Humboldt, to those banished to the misery of the reservation. Tuluwat knows

the sweet words to tongue to the children, ripped from their parents, held hostage in boarding schools, where their native tongues were straight-jacketed, where their heads were bent to pray to an unfamiliar god, who ordained everything the white people commanded, until the aftermath meant drinking pain, eating pain—or blinding it in whatever poison served. But in those dark waters, they fathomed, Tuluwat cried out, remember what can never be forgotten!

(III)

Let us risk ourselves in celebration: Let Tuluwat be returned to the Wiyot. The land desecrated with trash and toxins. No matter—

Who can kill the land? Let us tune an ear to the joyful voices of those who knows what Tuluwat has long taught: blood is unanswered in blood. It is answered in apology,

in song, in the whirlwind of the dance—for in this celebration we all prepare to renew their world again. Let the land cry out too, to bless each of us in renewal, to bless what has been broken; to renew in the giving back, in the receiving. Let us risk ourselves then in bowing to the Greater Spirit in each of us; Yes, bow, make offerings, and let all of us rejoice as the land cries out on this great good day.


PAGE 76

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

______ On Monday, October 21, 2019, the City of Eureka, California, officially returned Tuluwat Island to the Wiyot Tribe. According to recent research, Eureka is the first city in the United States to return land to any tribe as a gift.


PAGE 77

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

I Am Happy You Are Hungry and I Am Happy You Are Eating ANDRES CORDOBA

Like loose tobacco mixed with cups of old coffee, I imagine your exhales taste of petty vices. Been ensuring my assurances, reminding myself of fingerprint dust promises left on tongue. Reddened pink and ruddy knuckles.

The list of languages on exhibit wanes throughout the paces of a frightful year. Heard you got some big plans– killing yourself and turning into a lotus or some shit. An interview process might begin: “So it says here...” and they keep reading what you’ve already said. “You didn’t work for four different terms? Shit is fucking rough, I gotta uncle who got busted for being the Employee of the Month in a year of bad jobs.” A maestro at darkening bubbles behind a curtain in a high school gymnasium as the blizzards fell hard that election fall


PAGE 78

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

You told me, “Some men have brothers and some others have barbells.” A scuba man stands under the florida surf with his foot held fast by all the air on earth Another night falls swift in the bedroom of an apartment that you promised would be demolished by the end of this term Yes, I measured in terms. I was one term tall when you finally agreed to wheel out the ghosts: a black box, a rainbow test screen, blue skin babies that make blue skin babies. Midnight movies and basketball jerseys Jokes from chinned men and piano key grimaces –cue the band and play out to a car ad that swaddles you to its fat tit.

This is need: A fat steak of deer heart staining cupped hands A louisiana riverboat band who only plays birdsongs you overhear from your deathbed Drunk off a dream of binge drink HBO showing porn to an empty dorm

The fireworks burst As we watch life In a television you confuse for a pen I see you over there scrawling out sixty three different million dollar ideas On the inside of bicep flexing

There is tired strength The kind that makes a man Question if what’s left is flesh Or a well seasoned callus Another night of eating old air sandwiches Made from the heels of a hundred dollar haircut Your love be: True America


PAGE 79

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

The kitchen sink in a restaurant– devoid of all but the drain, a single faucet you pull down from the high ceiling. My love be: American Truths See a kitten and think, what would your skull feel like in my jaws? When all I want to do is be vicious and brave in my amateur love.

Some men are lovers and some others are lampshades!

This night reminds me That I am happy you are hungry and I am happy you are eating Some beings dream in the language of stomach Most of us are born under the constellation watchmaker for the establishment It even looks like all the other stars too And all the universe hunches over this little man’s trembling shoulder Bumping and coughing as he chisels the softest of gold Into something ornamental and wanted Something you can set the day’s pace to

Then Old Judge Debated, Maybe “These Words” Aren’t Your Speciality Asking about the thousand million dollar / name brand muzzle that is built / for my structure / like a mask / they cut off a face and dried / laid over own eyes lopsided / and now can only see through lids of eyes / can only breathe through a broken nose / pressing skin taut form across the arid globes / of a cheek / a tooth sticking proud out nostril / searching for a place to call steady / in a structure that creeks at every sip stolen / from atop a concrete jetty. I say, Not to worry mosquitos can’t fly in this breeze. And they say, Huh, I never noticed that Some folks wouldn’t even notice a disservice if it came up to them and charged Some folk chug hot coffee choke and then ask about this need for normalizing pain This need to snap your pen at the grip This need to see the ink puddle in your palm like a dead eyed beau asking,


PAGE 80

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

This day feel like non-stop non-sequiturs to you too? I shore up this bedroom of a white boy wonder and build him a sandcastle made from mirrored brick. Try and argue, Well this isn’t sand now is it? So his dad the wood fire pulls down paper and cherished dates with both smoldering fists and like love sick grunts from the county’s fattest pig presents me the reality of everything.

Don’t cross the sheriff if your six shooter ain’t been named. Don’t speak big bold right as your father’s lil brown body starts to grow cold. Don’t drink from the ocean with the intention of quench if you still got a foot on the jetty and noose tied to [redacted]

This is entitled something like: The Polite Methods of Disarming Your Captor Or: A Fire Is Only Brutal When They Lit It Or: How I Learned That Reading Was A Waste Of My Time Or: Your Babies Look Hungrier But Our Babies Are Hungrier I was the chaplain in a charter school with absolutely no training. Lined up every one of the adults next to the kids. Told them that Jesus only considered it real if you put something down as collateral. Watched as my arms grew weak with luxuries unsayable. You should see what the good people are holding out on you.


PAGE 81

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

You should ask to see. And then you should ask again. And you should ask and ask until the act of trust earned is a curse. Until all us individuals get together and say, How’s about we just act right for couple of civilizations? Why don’t we stop being so goddamn angry? Why don’t we let the trains stop catching fire? What if we tell them our little secrets like good faith and live in that good faith? And I haven’t seen my kid in months but then again they never were my kid and they watch him good and count his days on the rim of a nickel bloating quarter bloating dollar bloating business bloating bank and damn do these folks love themselves an outlaw as long as he knows the sacred way of long division

or scalps a witness.

How’s about we close our eyes and promise not to peek if you promise not to break all the lights?


PAGE 82

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Fucked JOHN DE GRUYTHER

Tumultuous river creek eyes ripping crystal cosmos defaming the senses the census of perspective Exit-polled by deluded dementors hell-bent lunatic fringes occupying spotlight stages Iron-railing, flailing trauma ice lake wolf trances trashy second rate romances loose lipped tax advisor limbic imbibed traffic visors

Babel towered, freshly showered peppermint scented, press inventive - trousered in the mire

Roulette wheeled, tank steeled, betting on the planet failing

Fucked, sucked, mucked up

taken from behind gagged and blind all the ways they’ve cheated, traded in the shaded Tree blot, torn tooth, denigrated hoodwinked, Artemis blinked, hand cut, kitchen sink - glass full to the half doesn’t it make you laugh The lore of lives taken, bone breaking, shake and rattle the system to its core charlatan nation, lacing the water so we all beg for more


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 83

POLITICAL POETRY

Ancient New Paradigm TAWAHUM JUSTIN BIGE BC cops snatchin’ naughty activists

dancers as summoners

it’s not like kids playing tag

alongside our

one tap on the wrist

elders as strategists

you’re under arrest

standing with us

Kinder Morgan oil terminal

stewards

locked up like castle

protectors

at the drawbridge front entrance

firekeepers and time-travellers

we request an audience

what they would call

but they do back door business

just an angry mob in forest camo

it’s time for us to occupy this

we’re armed

Organized activists rally

with feather drum and prayer in hand

protracted siege

The last line of defense across

protestors painted as bandits

last brown earthy trail to the last green spring

police officers as castle guard

and summer meadow last blue river

ERT as knights cavalry

flowing past Kinder Morgan castle

abusing their authority

to salmon-coloured wild-salmon estuary

our heroes in shining armour The last traditional food source They arm themselves

for Indigenous and settler alike

meticulous overkill transparent and grey plastic

We must ground ourselves

gunmetal black and Kevlar

to make Earthquake

navy blue vest and

cleanse spirit waters

shiny chrome cuffs

into tsunami tidal waves stoke our sacred fire ‘til controlled inferno

Everything necessary to force peaceful protesters like us

You smell that?

to rely on our

It’s sage, sweetgrass and tobacco

ceremonial-willed faith

You smell that?

sinew-cold commitment

It’s a storm unseen

to red-hot ancestral spirit

You smell that? It’s us

propose prayer to creator

firekeepers and time-travellers

for an ancient new paradigm: medicine men as conduits

Here to call lightning down

drummers as timekeepers

from a clear blue sky


PAGE 84

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Influenza outbreak SHREYA SONI

A new business ideavultures eagerly pounce onto the fresh meat money making mines -deaf dysfucntional vulturescries of all warriors put on mute mode For their lust of paperlust of followers

Pay _____ amount and I will therapise youclaims the thin girl with Gucci shoes and Chanel fumespre adoloscents flock to be curedto be heard by their aesthetic Messiah to confess their sins to the millenial father- influenza.

Atm machines for eyes- when all other business failed- tested- failed- tested- failed

Model- check (did not workout) Banker-check( did not workout) Actor/singer/CA/writer (check to the power of four) (did not workout to the power of four)


PAGE 85

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

LET ME CURE AND HEAL YOU- greed carefully shaded by dior glasses Cunning of her tongue masked by mandatory masks Whiff of ignorance sucked clean by her bath and body bathbomb Her good vibes- faked perfectly with Pinterest fake good vibes ideas Vulturistic instinct takes over

Herd of sheep flock gently- eyes shut blind by Instagram glasses- specially curated in virtualland

Where's the healing then? When will it begin? Forgive me influenza for I have sinned. For existing and not being able to hack lifeI looked eveyrhwere and iread every how to - forgive mefor I can't go on

Posters handed out- ah so aesthetic and artsy- they are for your walls. Repeat this mantra every morning-

I am happy.

The cure. The coveted cure. Just a three word sentence? Three hundred thousand monies for three words. Ah magic words.

"MenTaL HeALth is imPOrtAnt" tweets one while actively bullying celebrity on Instagram. "SeLf LoVe is the bESt love" posts another while forwarding another racist and another homophobic and another sexist and another fat shaming joke on WhatsApp.


PAGE 86

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Broke and heartbroken- tried and tested all- the sheep chances upon the illusion of cure. No one really cares. I have to give up. I give up. She doesn't wait for eid to be slaughtered. The lamb slaughters herself.

. The End. ------ wait no. There's more.

Pray for her. RIP. Speak to me. I am here. React out to a therapist (but I'll secretly judge you). Killing is not courageous (but I'll secretly put you down Everytime you're brave). Blah and blah and illusion and self love and blah.

The cycle continues. The end.


PAGE 87

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Late Stage Lamentation RIVER RAMOS

I. In the final days of The Empire of Blood

We take refuge We take refuge and when We cannot take refuge We take heart

The crimson tabernacle of governance echoes from its chamber the pained wail of hatred.

And We are getting through this.

We are metabolizing this pain.

Yet, the tear gas and the mace bludgeoned our spirit. The zip tie handcuffs and the batons assaulted more than just our bodies.

When they declared our assembly to be unlawful What two-faced alchemy was in their declaration? From where was their sightless authority derived? What baseless oppressions?


PAGE 88

HOWLING PRESS

What complicit regressions ?

In late May I bore witness to the instigation of a riot in East Oakland

Among the hundreds that were, I was not arrested.

And when they militarized against us Where were you?

II.

Did you finally decide that you were leaving this country for good?

Did you conscientiously object to voting in the midterm elections?

Shame. Shame. Shame. .

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 89

HOWLING PRESS

What a privileged North American Anarchist.

And I know. I know. I know. American politics are Malicious. Vitriolic.

A game of finances and charades. A wretched theater.

Progressively more absurd. And really just toxic to our collective wellbeing.

A football game. A shouting match. A pissing contest.

“If you really want to exercise your right as a citizen, move off the grid and learn how to collect rain water.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 90

HOWLING PRESS

Start a garden and learn how to harvest solar energy.”

(yeah, yeah, easier said than done) “Our politicians can't save us from our rapidly changing climate”

“Nor can they mitigate the damage that's already been done.” “Educate yourself.”

“Take care of your family chosen or birth and those in your community.” “Look out for one another.”

III.

Woe to the multiethnic indigenous rebellions of the Iroquois and the Algonquian. Woe to Pontiac and Tecumseh's war. Woe to Chief Red Cloud and the wars fought by Cochise and Geronimo. Woe to Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Woe to serving two life sentences since 1977.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 91

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

Woe to African enslavement and importation figures in the 1850's. Woe to half of our enslaved brothers and sisters brought here at that time. They were children. Woe to the life and works of W.E.B DuBois. Woe to the execution of Fred Hampton of the Black Panther party.

Woe to Jane Addams. Not just a suffragist but one of the world's most important non-violent activists and founders of social work.

Woe to competing narratives of the two World Wars. Woe to the place where hate comes from and woe to why it exists.

Woe to Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin. Woe to going to a library today and checking out Emma Goldman and Sisterhood is Powerful. Woe to reading the SCUM Manifesto. Woe to already having read it. Woe to reading it again.

Woe to understanding why Cesar Chavez went on hunger strikes. Woe to the history of Ronald Reagan's foreign policy with El Salvador. Woe to seeking asylum.

Woe to being a member of this human race.

Woe to volunteering at a soup kitchen. Woe to eating at one with your mother as a ten year old. Woe to a shelter for the houseless.


PAGE 92

HOWLING PRESS

Woe to riding your bike today. Woe to making some art and woe to writing some poetry.

Woe to being the love that you seek. Woe to practicing kindness toward yourself. Woe to calling your loved ones. Woe to making amends.

Woe to being a part of something outside yourself.

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 93

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY

(Re)Birthing Ghosts // TARA MITRA


PAGE 94

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 95

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 96

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 97

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 98

HOWLING PRESS

POLITICAL POETRY


PAGE 99

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

FROM THE MEDEA NOTEBOOKS ANN PEDONE

Medea’s prologue

I made of their flesh no more than a sieve. I had no idea what she meant but then maybe it was just a bad translation. I looked at her and all of the earth’s matter fell from her face. come with me let’s count out all the different ways there are to enter a woman’s body.

Medea’s Song to Jason, Part I

I believe in ghosts/I believe in luck and fate and destiny/I roll the dice whenever I get the chance/sometimes I count out beads on/a rosary I keep/hidden in a drawer/some/times I play dumb/I sometimes don’t know how to/draw boundaries/sometimes I don’t cross my legs/I’ve been told I should see a


PAGE 100

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

therapist/remind me again/ how you like your coffee/tell me when you are about to cum/don’t/make me wait for it/tell me again that you want me more than her/I won’t say my body is like a rosary/but sometimes it/feels like one/let me teach you how to please me/let me show you how to open my legs/just like this/can you see it/this is the part of me that is connected straight to my brain/touch me here and I’ll/grow wings/touch me here/before the river of my body runs dry/I need to take a shower/I need to get on a plane in an hour/I need to try harder/ to forget his face/long before I was a woman I was a thing burning in the middle of the sea/I was in the middle of the sea/I closed my eyes and mouthed the word waves/the water changed the shape/of my body/as only water can

Medea after having been Diagnosed as a nymphomaniac

You’re going to have to tell me what that means. He’s Greek. English is his third language. I want to tell him that desire is like a weather of the mind. But I know he’s looking for a more precise definition. You could say it means that a woman can’t get enough. Only women? Yes, actually. I think it has something to do with nymphs and Greek mythology. You know. Apollo. Dionysus. Or maybe it was just some crazy theory of Freud’s. I can never remember.

I take his hand. I know he’ll be asleep soon. And move it down between my legs. He doesn’t resist. To that place that lies on the other side of attention. Exists always on the other side of winter. I’m going to eat you. I’m going to eat all of the light out of you. I watch myself turn into a body of glass. First flame, then the ache of something slow. Something ancient. Something that feels almost like metamorphosis.


PAGE 101

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

iMessage

July 2, 2020 5:45 PM[the writer of The Medea notebooks and her lover]

W:Hey.

L:I wanted to ask you something.

W:What?

L:Well, you know in Greece we had to read all of this mythology shit when we were kids. And I don’t remember Medea cheating on Jason. Just that he was cheating on her.

W:I know. I decided to change it up a bit. You know, Euripides is the one who made Medea kill her kids.

L:Really?

W:Yeah. So I figured if Euripides can do that, then it’s all up for grabs, right?

L:But then doesn’t that complicate the fact that she kills the kids to get back at Jason for cheating on her?

W:It absolutely does.

L:So then how do you square that?

W:Well, it’s just one of those things that leaves you naked, isn’t it?


PAGE 102

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

Medea in Shock after discovering that Jason is Fucking a 25 Year old

what is the word for this thing fashioned in quick heat but never quite never quite becoming

what a heaviness it leaves my life and all that has passed nothing more than a thing that wants to flow back into the river

Medea stabs her two children through the Heart with a hunting knife she Bought at Dick’s Sporting Goods

they will say I did it as an act of vengeance now God is surely waiting for me in his milky garden


PAGE 103

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

Medea after Having stabbed her children, Part II

I have eaten them drowned them in this milky belly from which they once fed my fleshy thighs now nothing more than glass words and naked sentences

iMessage

August 15, 2020 2:31AM [the writer of The Medea notebooks and her lover]

L: Are you up?

W: Yeah. Can’t sleep.

L:I can’t believe she actually killed them.

W: I know.

L:I guess she thought killing them would be an even greater punishment for Jason. Like just killing him was letting him off too easy.

W: Right. But it’s not like they were someone else’s kids. She is also punishing herself. And God knows, her kids.

L: True. Like I told you before. The ancient Greeks were totally fucked up.


PAGE 104

HOWLING PRESS

PERSEPHONE JOE PAINTER After, you curled up on the sofa

like a comma reading Keats on an empty stomach bulbous as a gourd. I could almost hear the gallstones

crystallising,

the plik plik plik of stalactites that bloomed as you learned readiness to love. You slept as if drugged by poppy milk or over-the-counter stuff.

If I was hellebore,

puce with propriety, you always were snowdrop confident, even in dreams. And when you woke, uncurling like a fiddlehead of fern, you wept tears of blood, pomegranate seeds,

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 105

HOWLING PRESS

to dream again the songs of spring.

One In Vermillion Back when you put on your red light touch velvet crushed beetle juice, dried females falling into disrepair, my hinges thick with rust and rose tinted:

Stood humming danger in your red dress like a cardinal sin a barman’s envy an untamed Cinderella painting the town

dead to the world slumped on your bed like tenderised meat red and raw in tooth and claw more paper cuts old wounds new wounds scar crossed others aren’t you alive to me

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 106

HOWLING PRESS

the crimson cheek the glowing hearth everything.

Styx

We waded to our knees at dusk and pushed off, bodies scything gorges in the black -green chill below. A grebe, head all undecided plumage, skiffed past as Dad froglegged to the weir channel, trod water, ether, halfway between the banks. I lagged, my child’s screw kick scuffing bubbles into eddies rushed a hundred hundred seasons downstream: fisher ghosts, wraiths who broke bread here; riverfolk who rinsed clothes, bodies, drank here; tithes unsaid by unpeople, collected by the currents. From the channel I saw Dad trudge up the clay then slip from view behind a fog of willowherb, forget-me-not, poplar, ash.

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 107

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

A GIF OF THE MERMAID MADISON IN THE 1984 FILM SPLASH, WATCHED REPEATEDLY KATHRINE LEEDLE

she is an on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and ondine outside the 1.85:1 if you could stretch your dry chords around her name it would shatter the glass screens of televisions in their chattering stands if your teeth were as strong as hers you could crackcrash through the shells and legs of lobsters made bright coral-pink from boiling and need no-one to make excuses to your fellow diners. inside the 1.85:1 -


PAGE 108

HOWLING PRESS

you are always at once, alone, complete, with perfectly balmy binary

waters laplaplaplaplaplaplaplapping at your thicktailed thighs. nothing smashing at all, nothing to perturb or disturb your always-looping wavelets. steam drifts, diffusing against the camera, graining the pixels and dissol vi n g the scene into parts, cleaved, from the i to the egg of the 0 int. / ext. - both neither

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 109

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST PATRICK ALAN GREEN


PAGE 110

HOWLING PRESS

NAMING A CITY HOME PATRICK ALAN GREEN

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 111

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 112

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

GIRL SLEUTH CATHERINE DEAN Nancy Drew, do you have a clue? a conundrum, if you will. Riddle me this: why do pu Z Z Less distract the loss in yourself?

My attacker aims for the <3 I didn’t expect to be cherished by such a rough edge

Secured, cuffing you into my unrelenting self

“I’m not going anywhere.”

Double agent broke the rules and skipped to the end

Uninterested in a m e

a z

requiring navigation of my complexities And so, Disguised like a thief into the night, “Detective, there’s been another disappearance.” I remain left unsolved.


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 113

AVANT GARDE POETRY

Sent with Insufficient Postage AKSHAT KHARE A Thank You Note to Kirin Nagarkar

भारत India 15 Paise Plucking Tea 4 00 Rupees Painted Stork Re 1 Mediaeval Sculpture 2 Anna Natraj 50 Paise Mangoes 30 Paise Handicrafts 4 paise Coffee Berries

A Blank Postcard for Salvador Dali stamped with the Caudillo’s Face (Reino de España Spain) Espana Correos

1 Peseta (Caudillo Franco)

A Letter stamped with the Hotels of Romania to remind Emil Cioran that he is Romanian Romania Posta Romana

1 Leu Hotel Continental, Timișoara 2 Leu Hostel Valea Caprei, Făgăraș Mountains 4 Leu Hotel Intercontinental, Bucharest 5 Leu Hotel Lebada, Crișan 6 Leu Red Mountain Hostel, Ciucaș Mountains


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 114

AVANT GARDE POERTY

8 Leu Hotel Transilvania, Cluj Napoca 10 Leu Hotel Roman, Băile Herculane 18 Leu Hostel Rarău, Mt. Rarău 20 Leu Hotel Alpin, Poiana Brașov 30 Leu Miorita, Bucegi 45 Leu Sura Dacilor, Poiana Brașov 60 Leu Valea Draganului 80 Leu Hotel Florica

A Letter written in one long paragraph addressed to László Krasznahorkai Magyarország (Hungary) Magyar Posta

4 Forint 150 éves a Herendi Porcelángyár 1976

A Post-Colonial Postcard to Trifonia Melibea Obono Rep. De Guinea Ecuatorial (Equatorial Guinea) Heroes Del Aire

0.05 Ekuele M. F. Von Richthofen – Alemania (Aircraft) Fokker DR 1 – Primera Guerra Mundial (World War 1) 0.15 Ekuele Willy Coppins – Belgica (Aircraft) Hanriot HD 1 – Primera Guerra Mundial (World War 1) 0.40 Ekuele Edward Mannock – Inglaterra (Aircraft) SE-5-A - Primera Guerra Mundial (World War 1)


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 115

AVANT GARDE POETRY

A Note of Solidarity to Theodoor van Gogh Danmark (Denmark) Kongelig Post

30 Øre Frederick IX

A Letter to Maria Koszutska using postage that bears her name Polska (Poland)

2 00 złoty Małgorzata Fornalska (1902-1944) 2 50 złoty Maria Koszutska (1876- 1939) 50 grosz Bronisław Wesołowski ( 1870 - 1919) 1 50 złoty Polski drzeworyt ludowy XVIw

A Stamp Existence to go with Agha Shahid’s Postcard

भारत India Rs 2 Dal Lake 60 paise Somnath Temple 6 Anna Gol Gumbad Bijapur 5 Paise Refugee Relief 3 00 Satyajit Ray 5 Paise Family Planning 20 Paise 20 GNAT 2 Bidriware 5 00 Solar Energy 25 Paise Chital 40 Paise Calcutta GPO building 1868 4 00 Homi Jahangir Bhabha 10 00 Atomic Reactor Trombay 10 00 C V Raman 5 00 100 years of Radio Communication 1995


HOWLING PRESS

PAGE 116

AVANT GARDE POETRY

A Short Letter for Fyodor Dostoevsky from a Posthumous Future (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)

Почта СССР 12

копейка (Kopeck) International Federation Aeronautics –

Y.A. Gagarin

An Empty Parcel for Tristan Tzara containing the Conceptual Nothing Romania Posta Romana

1 Leu Reciclarea Metalului (Metal Recycling - Cars and Tins)


PAGE 117

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

A Saturday Afternoon Train of Thought SANJ

Is giving something a title before you even begin to conceptualise it bizarre? / Why are humans named even before their first cry? “What’s your name?” “What do you want to call me?” / Would that take some layers off you or me? / Is it about me at all? Or is it just the prices printed on the back of supermarket meals, Googling how to say rendezvous and realising no one truly wins tic-tac-toe? // Who realised the right amount of water needed to cook rice perfectly anyway? If perfection is only a state of mind, why are there recipes at all? / Whose state of mind is everyone talking about? Is it hers; the one with the asymmetrical frames watching the rain with so much cynicism that it makes the drizzle feel like it’s intruding into a very private conversation? // Typewriters are better than computer screens because the cursor doesn’t blink in deceiving calmness at you, forcing the appropriate articulation of all the chemicals in your head. // Oh there you are again, I thought I mentioned you in all the pages of traffic. Though I solved that. It’s like watching paint dry while listening to the same Chet Baker composition and getting up to leave. But there you are again, slowly chiseling your way to a new coat of blue. And violet. And that particular shade of Tang after a game of checkers. / Take your seat. How was your day? Did you smile at the little commercial on TV because I made fun of it four months ago? Why are your hands always so cold? Do you want a cigarette? //


PAGE 118

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

Television/Inner Vision AISHVARYA VARMA Interstices Small moments ‘In-between’s Devour us, dissatisfied Yearning for more nourishment The human expectation of a complete meal.

A recipe for acidic retaliation, I had to brood. “I need to rebel to truly find myself”, ‘twas a mood.

The hungry stomach longs for some Television Inner vision Resonance, to ease the flame.

One searches and searches Rabid Cold Packing treats & mini-meals along the way None eaten. “This is for another time, a time that is with me.”


PAGE 119

HOWLING PRESS

Small moments ‘In-between’s Another interstice stolen and yet another Hungry dream.

“Time shall find you.” A distant voice in the desert sang to me Like the softest song a whisper Could ever be. “Remember, how you seek is your choice, for this mind is yours and yours alone.”

In all those interstices Wide moments ‘In-between’s I chose to brood.

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 120

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

Vending Machine MANUEL DELGADO


PAGE 121

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

Fish Tail(ing) BRECON DOBBIE


PAGE 122

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 123

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 124

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY

Des humains sans amour NIKKI DUDLEY


PAGE 125

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 126

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 127

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 128

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 129

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 130

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 131

HOWLING PRESS

AVANT GARDE POETRY


PAGE 132

HOWLING PRESS

I’M TALKING DIYA SANGHVI

and within a second before you even know it exists it’s over I’m talking about hope being hopeless and dreams being spineless it’s shattering how you can reach a point when you miss people and promises more than you miss street lights and billboards I’m talking about homes being cold and feelings being closed it’s shattering how I could reach a point where I miss voices and smiles more than I miss alcohol and cigarettes I miss things that are supposed to be here crowding around me echoing till my nerves are full of it but really where are we I’m talking about papers

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 133

HOWLING PRESS

being tattered and thoughts being scattered there are tiny boxes of innumerable ideas it’;s shattering how we could reach a point where art is to survive and not to celebrate where art has become a necessity just another necessity a necessity like medicines and reminition and within a second it’s all over I’m talking about life being lifeless and love being painless I’m talking about concepts being trashed and purpose well let’s not even go there.

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 134

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

LOOKING OUT, LOOKING IN AASIF BULBULIA

Instrumental used: Mos Def - Respiration Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

i. [0:24] looking out, looking in Where do I begin? feel like a matador trapped in a bullpen under lockdown, frozen like a mannequin we get knocked down, gotta get back up again so i take a moment to reflect look at all the systems of oppression intersect the anxiety is crippling, I gotta take a breath start to see privilege as a matter of life and death a product of inequality They wanna surf while the people live in poverty â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kill the Blacks for the sake of the economyâ&#x20AC;? so self-centred, they got a complex like Ptolemy

1 The world crashed like a plane over Lockerbie calculate the aftermath someone call the cavalry someone bring the body bags come comfort the families Now more than ever, we need solidarity I say that, but that word can be quite abstract


PAGE 135

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

Easy to talk when you can always go back to warm beds and full bellies turn on the telly, police and politicians acting like Machiavelli I told the man in the mirror, “you gotta listen here you gotta face your fear of being insincere you gotta start by taking care of your heart if you don’t just watch things fall apart”

[Chorus x 2] Breathe in I know the times are tough We gotta lean on each other when the going gets rough Breathe out and even though we’re apart I thank Allah for putting all this love in our hearts

ii. There’s this saying, “hindsight is 20/20”. I wonder how we’ll look back on 2020 will it just be a year, dominated by fear? or will it be the moment when


PAGE 136

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

things were made crystal clear? when we realized what we need what’s important - that it ain’t about power, fame, or endorsements That love thy neighbour means making the right choices We gotta think about how we choose to use our voices. What will it mean to be a teacher? Can you hear me clearly? Can I reach ya? Can we connect beyond the special effects? Zoom in on the trauma that created this mess? You see, I’m just tryna open up my eyes, try to do what I can to decolonize to recognize the lies that we’ve internalized, hold on to the Qur'an use it as a guide and try to find a piece of peace at least.

[Chorus x 2] breathe in I know the times are tough We gotta lean on each other when the going gets rough Breathe out and even though we’re apart I thank Allah for putting all this love in our hearts


PAGE 137

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

COLSTON BOUND ALASTAIR VERE NICOLL

Hey you… over there!

Or you…, perhaps you?

Ah! There! Yes, you! No…. don’t look away…

Don’t you see how the light illuminates me to such advantage at this late hour?

The plinth deserves a scrub, it is a little blackened at the edges.

After a hundred years, the knee gets a little stiff. Absurd to have a walking stick, when I can’t move - you know, with the times… just stuck here, feet in stone.

A steady gaze to the horizon, like I could see the future, Yes, that would have been better, not this down-cast look, Staring at the harbour water and those rubber-lipped dolphins! Ho hum. Cassidy fecit…,


PAGE 138

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

What’s this? An admiring crowd? They seem a little impassioned. Well, it is nice to be noticed. An overhaul perhaps!? I am due a shine, those pigeons!

Triumphant cheering! They seem a little angry… And this rope is tight… my collar, Excuse me… you …

They pull, as on oars, I stand here, posture braced, With that one foot forward. If I was bent, I’d fall!

So, this is what it feels like to be roped…

Can someone lift my head? I squint feet. My perspective’s changed. A knee on my neck. Constable Would you intervene?

Constable?

He looks on, nonchalant.

Hello? Do you, yet, notice me?

Sir?


PAGE 139

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

The world is spinning…

I can’t feel my body.

I, who was cast, am now cast out.

Is my face rubbed off? Like a dead emperor from a coin.

Didn’t I do well? Didn’t I? Didn’t you tell me I did well?

Will I be recast? What lives will my bronze now lead?

Is this the end of the road? They say you go where you look.

Excuse me? You there? Could you just lift my head a little?

My eye presses on the ground.

Please, I can’t breathe… Some water or something…?

Oh, that view of the waves again… Now I see what has confounded me these long years about those Judas dolphins …

- I knew they’d leave me, Just when I needed them most, at sea.


PAGE 140

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

COLSTON UNBOUND ALASTAIR VERE NICOLL

Is my plinth part of me? As the roots, the tree…

I feel incomplete, a scoured Frankenstein, Cut off at the knee,

Lying, soles bare, kerf upturned, Ogled on Dr. Tulp’s table.

Must all be laid bare?

I like an audience – it’s good theatre But, please, when I’m properly attired…

I want them to see me as I see myself, I fade, this darkness, I’m blacking out…

Those kitsch dolphins - their mocking smiles How are they still here?

I’m a strange amalgam… you’ve hitched me For history to someone else! Am I a centaur Or a mermaid?

I fade out again, uncentered … Riveted, I rise - these new eyes!


PAGE 141

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

See what I’ve become! My base spliced, A new umbilicus reaching up!

Free at last…

From that dark, dark room – those thousand voices… The surgeon’s knife, a new life!

What is this lotus on my puffed-up chest?

My brooding mood transformed, you will agree. – and a new glove, How clumsy to have lost the other one!

I was once a little unsure what I stood for …

I feel a surge, a transfusion from the sea the day I was couped … The big wheel has certainly turned. I overturned it. Not a leaf, a pearl. These spruced curls! A hundred years can make them drab…

My arm is growing a little heavy, my stick gone. I feel an absence I can’t quite put my finger on.

I had a dream, I am what I decide I am what I tell you to see. Salute me!


PAGE 142

HOWLING PRESS

I’m enfranchised – with a fist makes it sound like business You know, trading in souls. This new one feels snug inside, as breeches inside a skirt.

It was lonely, all at sea.

Can someone please tell me who I am?

I’m still me inside, no matter how I change. The times.

This iron is dark.

Well, here I am again, my friends, little fish… We do sit uncomfortably, don’t we? You can’t get rid of me, Forever fleeing from my feet, like history.

Yes, here I am, I’m still me, I’ve just suffered a sea change. You can be in two places at once, it just feels a little strange.

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 143

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

UNSWIMMING RABIA KAPOOR

Confined to the four walls of sleep I find (It hard to breathe at night) the moon collapses In the shape of my window, Cracks by the edge of my bed, Over my hips and my shoulders, And drips onto the carpeted floor.

I roll over to my side, The whole house is dreaming around me, But the moon is only shining here, And the tides turn (inside me), Around me the mattress and the pillows Turn to salt, Air turns to water, I practice my swimming / My drowning (itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all the same these days), I find it hard to breathe either way.

I try to stay still, to trick my body into sleep, I flail and wait for fish, Roll with the tide of the blankets, The weight Of pushing waves, suffocating


PAGE 144

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

Time pulls the white wax of the moon across my bed, It leaves a trail, it does not smell, It sinks into the moisturiser on my skin.

At some point my consciousness gets bored of the metaphor / My arms and legs get tired of the backstroke, So I float, Until I sink, In the morning there will be salt Tracks on my cheeks and by my lips


PAGE 145

HOWLING PRESS

WHAT WE’VE FORGOTTEN ERICA DIONORA Look at what happens when you leave the Earth to its own orbit: the light takes leave and casts us all in our shadows— everything is everything as it was in the beginning and so it shall always be in the way that the mountain lion slumbers or how the black-crowned night heron gorges upon spindly, silver-scaled fish at the signal of the moon the wild rabbits, they tuck themselves into burrows, while the lotus flower closes revoking the softness of its petals from the bright, distant balls of light that poke holes in the sky, peeking and eavesdropping as the grasshoppers commune with the umbras even the offspring of the human kind know when to close their eyes and cease its cries. This is the way of the world— the “we” that “you” or “I” have forgotten, that is: The sun never needed the hand of man’s clock to know when or how to rise.

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 146

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

THE MOON IS A HOLE IN THE SKY FRANCESCA BOTTAZZI I have a waning heart and a light that dims as the night grows long. The wolves howl to me from their snow-capped caverns and scream me their secrets in a language no one else can speak. It is so lonely. I want to disappear, to let the night fade into infinite black but hope holds me open, lets the ocean glow beneath me by the shore until I’m sure I’ve found my way back to solid ground. Though I am never sure. Darkness is everywhere I turn and even the brightest of stars are far out of reach. Loneliness has cratered me, and locked me into orbit.


PAGE 147

HOWLING PRESS

There’s no such thing as the moon. It’s a hole I sawed through the sky so that you might find me here, might follow the light back up to the stars and see someone you recognized, might call my name. I have been waiting. I leave a light out for you every night that never catches your eye. I want to dim it down, to turn it off, to let the night fade into infinite black but hope holds me open. So even when you close your eyes, I still shine all night for you.

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 148

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

NO, STARS ARE NOT MADE FROM SUGAR MURSAL KHAROTI

I feel sacred thinking about you. Pure, stupid, white holy, almost ghostly. Let us be, jagged and running on three legs. I love all your violent silence Looking at the window nape of your neck winks at me.

Being a lively fool dancing and watching 2020 roll like a passage like ticker tape over my head.


PAGE 149

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

MIGRATION IN A PEACH JESSICA KIM

After Roald Dahl’s ‘James and the Giant Peach’ I realize only too late: there is no way out of this pit, no happy ending for the boy whose curiosity outwits luck. Boy crawls into peach but is heedless to the taste of hunger. Boy meets centipede but does not run away. Boy, reckless. Peach propagates into home, crushing his relatives into bone without repentance. Inside, the kitchen is still sticky with silence, peach diving into the floor but here is the twist: instead, it’s the atlantic and the kitchen is the world. I am homesick for family but the boy steers into some american dream.

This is the beginning,

the ebb and flow of shapeless wishes. from a distance, the boundaries between skyscraper and heaven are obscured

and boy mistakes

New York for god. I will never understand why the policemen

celebrate the arrival

of a giant peach, but they do anyway. The peach shrivels away, leaving only skeleton. Boy morphs into adult and decides to write a book. This is the way of men, foolhardy, shapeshifting into

mischief.


PAGE 150

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

MEDICINE WOMEN LERATO PRIMROSE

Medicine women come out to play in the night, under the moonlight’s gaze, where magic concentrates itself around her finger tips, like a glove, engulfing her magic in the palms of her hands, where touch becomes power, unimaginable and with a sting.

They brew their potions under the dimly lit skies where energies have become silent, and the minds of the

many are at ease, chilling at home, relaxed and not overthinking their deceptive fears and anxieties. These

are the times when medicine women come out to play, waving their wands in the faces of the stars, where magic transcends, and self becomes one with the cosmos, the stars and the sun on the other side.

Call us witches if you must, that is exactly what we are, but see not quite like you thought of it all your life. The term has no meaning in society, it has become a redundant and yet ever so perfect example of how far from ourselves we have flown, a direct reflection of the truths that haunt us each day, of the powers we refuse to harness, but that’s a story for another day.

Medicine women don’t need your approval, in fact we like it when you call us names because that gives us more purpose you see. Put some damn respect on our names, the stars are watching.


PAGE 151

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

FINE LINES CERELIA MASKARINEC

You’ve just got to find your voice, she says over the terse muttering of the air conditioner, her stale office smelling a bit of Clorox and the something stuck behind the microwave. I imagined it there in front of her, coughing up the inside of my trachea And spitting it out, on the carpet, oozing and twitching And blowing red at both ends Congratulations on your bravery, and Lack of internal organs now. Here are your papers, and your certificate you’re not old enough to die but surely young enough to sign your soul To someone like me I promise, I am reliable, she says from behind plastic. She’s well stocked with complimentary candles and a few other open wounds Have a smell, let it into your head, your heart Now, for my lines-“Don’t pick that bloody thing up, the cleaners will get it later.”


PAGE 152

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

THE ANTHEM OF DEGENERATIONS JAY GALLERA MALAGA Hear ye, hear ye, smoothsay’r before ye, please, let’s hear me out! Feet grounded, ‘tween robots and din’saurs, my head in the clouds. Sons of renaissance, futures ongoing, generic, recycled, bespoke. Daughters of sun, heed the hunger, the heat, keep up, stay woke.

Willing victims, whining witnesses to generations past, forgott’n: The Lost, the Silent, the Boomers, X, Y, Y not, the Broke, the Brok’n, Romantics, the Beat, the Bohos, Hippies, the Punks, off the list goes, MTV, YouTube videos, Selfies, nude photos, up the interweb blows.

Gods have spoken, time’s foretold, bodies to be taken, skin to be sold. Gun mightier than sword, blood thicker on a keyboard, wisdom’s old. So, line ‘em up the usuals, villains, culprits, the criminals, let ‘em hang. Online vitriol, trail of betray’l, trial by social media, bang, bang, bang!

Do ye hear the growl in your bow’l, the sound of an empty bowl? The slow decay of a silent vow’l, the grumble of a crumblin’ soul? Gut-churnin’, piss burnin’, rollin’, rollin’, Tina keeps on Turnin’. Alright stop, corroborate n’ listen, anticipate the endin’, I’m just kiddin’.

Let’s go through the motions, taken over by emotions, whit’ning lotions. Outta’ mem’ry, doze off to hibernation, it is the anthem of de-generations. Black and white, filthy shades of grey; river runs red, mayday, mayday! From simple to complex to complicated, mind-blowing, never mind, ok.


PAGE 153

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

Wake up, wake up, wake up to a world that’s not ending for the nth time. Process slow, warm is the globe, tide’s high, the blow quick, hope’s a crime. What shall we do with that big, bad phony, the one with the big potta’ honey? That elephant in the room, a bull in a china shop twerkin’ with our money?

Dig, dig, deeper, lil’ brown man, dab, dab, stand up to the rational anthems. Do ye, do ye, do ye hear the people sing, singing the songs of angry memes? Hear ye, hear ye, a doomslay’r before ye, verdict’s out, I’m writing out loud! Teeth grindin’, google-eyed, tongue n’ cheek, imma bounce bounce bounce!


PAGE 154

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

AGAIN, ON THE ROAD JAY GALLERA MALAGA

Again, on a train towards somewhere. And you see People keep on digging, breaking ground for bridges and tracks, metallurgic vines strangling our futures in a coil of constant hunger to connect.

And yet everyone feels all the more

isolated.

We iron out hills And weed out

trees

To ease the traffic out of the cities,

We uproot them and teach them to grow by lying down orphaned on the road, Like thrones overthrown, and crowns upturned.

As if they are some sort of distraction, an unnecessary eyesore, Getting in the way of a vision of a world that is flat,


PAGE 155

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

Corduroyed only by buildings buildingsbuildingsbuildingsbuildings.

One could only conclude that we construct to have more space. We make getting from one point to another as quick and easy as possible So that we can be as

distant,

as far away

from it all. And our wish to fly is not so much about reaching greater heights As to persistently keep our feet off the ground,

detached from what makes us far from our very

us,

selves.

And yet life is a wheel, the world round, history a loop

Life is a wheel, the world round, history a loop --we can run, escape, elope -but life is a wheel, the world round, history a loop

Lessons must be learned, and common sense is rare, while wisdom is aloof.

And we are just pieces of a Lego larger-than-life, more blown-up than our egos.

And on and on we go by not letting go. And by not letting go, we cannot let bygones be bygones. An eye for an eye, a gun for a gun. And I for me, and you for you. And the train chugs along, choo choo choo choo. And we shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot. Until the cylinder croaks, and the wheel cracks, the train gets off the track.

Until everything, until all of us lay flat on our backs. Shh shh shh shh


PAGE 156

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

STORIES OF THE ZODIAC E.E SNEAD

Capricorn: Serious, Independant, Disciplined, Tenacious. Serious to alcohol with your long, ginger hair in a ponytail that I’m not a fan of; I prefered your emo side bangs - Independently faraway by a whole ocean - Disciplined to think militarily, but not enough to go into it - Tenaciously Atheist, I am Agnostic, you called me fake.

Aquarius: Deep, Imaginative, Original, Uncompromising. Fake Deep with your “rap album”- Imagining being with that married woman - believing you’re Original with spoken word - Uncompromising when I beg you to say no to that cigarette; Sagittarius pulls me away.

Pisces: Affectionate, Empathetic, Wise, Artistic Too Affectionate for me, saying to let go of Virgo - Empathetic to my past of men only seeing physical features - Wise with words that I don’t listen too; I want to sleep on Virgo’s swole arms instead - Artistic in the ways of keeping secrets tucked under your bed.

Aries: Eager, Dynamic, Quick, Competitive. Eager to call me your “goth princess” - Dynamic enough to grab a shotgun to hunt deer that’s too “Yee Yee” for me, being a city girl - I only “knew” you for three months; too Quick to obsess over me - too Competitive with Aquarius while Sagittarius casts judgement in the corner.

Taurus: Strong, Dependable, Sensual, Creative. Mentally Strong and gorgeous - Dependable in all ways but uninterested in my 8 inch spirit dick - big Sensual breasts and long blonde hair before you dyed it magenta - Creative to try new colors but you refuse the color red; you don’t want me to stain your scalp.


PAGE 157

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

Gemini: Versatile, Expressive, Curious, Kind. You know you’re not that Versatile with your polos, nerd - Expressive when we talk about videogames or tech since being fifteen years apart is hard to associate with - Curious as to why I say “yup” in the same monotone voice as you, but you practically raised me - Kind enough to be tolerant that I refuse to speak to the only person connecting us together by blood... But it’s really not enough...

Cancer: Intuitive, Sentimental, Compassionate, Protective. Intuitive enough for me to spill the tea for you to only throw it back in my face; hot, scolding, betrayal - Sentimental enough to be fake and play coy with Aquarius, saying you will sit on his face if he doesn’t pass out from drinking - not Compassionate enough for the boys to love you back even when I gave you herbal tea, filled with desire to put my face between your breast, but nothing was enough for you, so you play the games while I win the fame - Protective of the fact that you are the Moon, but I am the Sun.

Leo: Dramatic, Loyal, Prideful, Fiery. So Dramatic that you “requested” me to move away from you - Loyal to those that abuse your trust to make you unable to open up to me when I thought the world of you - So Prideful when I told you about the pills and the alcohol near me as my head had dark clouds around it that you didn’t believe me, telling me you didn’t want to hear it - but not Fiery enough to shine brighter than my flame.

Virgo: Practical, Graceful, Analytical, Organized. Using Practicality to try to be the best person you can be while the voices in your head say to hide under your bed for days - you show Grace when exposing your beefy arms; you beefcake, you - Analytical with the day to day challenges until you go to your girlfriend’s apartment where she whispers lies and stares at my boobs; threatened - Organized enough to cover up your busted lip that I want to kiss.


PAGE 158

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

Libra: Balanced, Social, Fair-minded, Diplomatic. Wanting to be Balanced physically and mentally, dragging me along - pretending to be Social until you break up with me over Steam chat - Fair-minded, until I disagree with you - only. Diplomatic when you sweat at the gym instead of in the bed.

Scorpio: Passionate, Stubborn, Resourceful, Brave. Strong Passion like a protective dad when we’re out at a concert and the men look at my curves; finding attraction to “thicc” bad bitches that steal from Walmart, but we could never with the golden, moral compass on our chests - Stubborn when you tell me cookies don’t have crust (they do), that milk doesn’t go with every meal (it does), and that eggs smell bad (they don’t) Resourceful when finding diamonds in Minecraft and keeping them all to yourself - Brave enough to own up to mistakes, like when your girlfriend had to be hospitalized because you ripped her vagina with your long, fat cock.

Sagittarius: Optimistic, Strong-Willed, Adventurous, Funny. Optimistic that I will talk to you, as you stand in the corner of the party - Strong-Willed enough to make me see that Aquarius is no good; that you would do anything for me - Adventurous and cunning to steal me from him - you were so Funny when you said you wanted to bash his guitar over his head; beautifully chaotic.


PAGE 159

HOWLING PRESS

CREVICES ANDY MOTZ

Look at how the clear tide pool or the green pond expand the living world.

Rivers and oceans generously give a part of themselves to circles, crevices, caverns for every little living thing: pollywog, anemone, bluegill, mollusk. They can now swim, reproduce, thrive, and be.

So make space as you rush toward your end for all of us and, just as importantly, all of you.

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 160

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

HOSPITALITY ANDY MOTZ

One morning more flowers sprout up in the apartment building courtyard. These 6 white petals with a splash of yellow in the center, suns surrounded by clouds, push through the stairwell gracefully greeting us with their vibrant beauty. Within days They shriveled like shed snake skin and were gone, nearly as quickly as they appeared. Oh, but, That didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change their glow, their life, their kindness to strangers.


PAGE 161

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

SKELETON WOMAN ELENA MURRAY

There is an Inuit legend about the Skeleton Woman A woman thrown from a cliff by her people To forever haunt the waters she drowned in As a Skeleton Until one day she is reeled in by a fisherman And her whole existence changes Their whole existence changes

See, it’s about duality It’s about the shadow and the light It’s about how a woman Has two parts Two parts that need one another And need to be accepted by her lover As the great Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls it: “The Life/Death/Life cycle of the Wild Woman”

I could never do psychedelics with you Because we never loved the bad parts of each other wholly

Terrified of being the concrete Rather than the rose that breaks through it I could never lay myself bare In your hands somehow clenched into fists and never open Ready to receive


PAGE 162

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

The trouble with not loving someone’s shadow Someone’s monster Someone’s wild Is that their other side will shrink This monster thrives on fear of it It will chase you if you ignore it And the more it feeds the more it grows Until all that’s left is the thing you fear

You were so afraid of my monster And she knew it She wanted to leave you shaking in your boots Coming face to face with what you saw in her that was so terrifying Until you wrapped her in your arms Untangled her bones And let her drink from your tears

I was so afraid of your monster Never knowing what it would say Always being shocked when it did speak Never thinking it could be true Never accepting that this part of you Could be something I loved instead of feared

It’s no wonder that entering The in between world With all barriers torn down Letting our wild nature Run as free as it always wants to run Ferocious and unyielding Made the drum of my heart beat faster and faster As though it were brandishing a battle cry And bracing itself for the death of complacency


PAGE 163

HOWLING PRESS

How I wish we two could have Turned sight into sky eyes Basking in the light and shadow Mixing the two in creation of Flesh and spirit Embracing both sides And becoming whole For one cannot survive without the other

And perhaps one day We can Push our petals through the concrete Break the nothing and the everything To meet somewhere in the middle And finally see both monsters whole

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 164

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

TRYPOPHOBIA NATALIE CABO

Today I died. The person I thought I was, was murdered. She is nowhere to be found. Maybe she never existed. Maybe she was just an illusion of who I wanted to be.

The real me has holes. She carries pain that seeps through every crevice of her body.

“Patch it up” becomes the new intention for living. Fix it. Fix it so you finally know who you are.

Fix it, But don’t be disappointed when you find that even after repair,

You’re still broken.


PAGE 165

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

THE STORM BEFORE THE STORM NATALIE CABO You’re like the weather

Mild when it’s convenient Turbulent when you feel it

A tornado of disgusting inhibitions No regard to your environment You destroy with ease and do it when you please

There is no category to describe your rage You are a force of violence, a natural disaster Waiting to blow everyone you love away

You are the cause for all the chaos The element around all the mayhem

Leave us homeless. Shake us up. Throw me into a place I’ve never seen before.

Lose me.

Then you’ll disappear, and I’ll spend the rest of my life rebuilding what you’ve destroyed.


PAGE 166

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

CAFÉ, CITY RHIAN KANE

Sun streams and falls against the wall, a café full of no talk. Rays play with plant leaves and swirl goes the revolving door. Voyeurs eye flâneurs, inside looking out: lives rush and stroll in the blast and the whirl of the morning. Cakes and coffees switch hand to table, coins collapse into laps and hats.

Customers look to purchase some time, without the grime and guilt. Cafes invite daydreams that silently say it’s okay! That sugar swirls in ceramic mugs while polystyrene cups sit begging to be filled a few small steps away, on the city’s floor. Some eyes see more than others, some don’t see at all.

“Coffee and carrot cake- only £4.50!” a sign screams at him. “Takeaway americano, with milk?” “Sure thing!” Early quiet broken by the wand and grind, room vibrating, customers sipping, sun settling on skin, he waits. Hopes for a good day come complimentary with his coffee, like a biscuit.

“Coffee and carrot cake- only £4.50!” a sign entices her sweet tooth. She deals with deals enough to know that a deal like that is a winner. Credit card tapping, phone tapping, quick glances for the best table. Window seat with a halo


PAGE 167

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

of heat, she heads towards it. Laptop out, headphones out, she is absorbed by business.

His lungs bloom with city fumes, back onto the street, back into the day. Mournful eyes glow as an americano, with milk meets raw, hard hands. Thanks undeserving, wishes he could do more. She savours the cake frosting, scarf of silk lounging around her shoulders. Window clear and large looms beside her. She stares at her screen.


PAGE 168

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

THE YEAR THAT REFUSED LISA PERKINS Introducing item 2020 - the year that refused to SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE FUCK UP You know the type You’ve “quotated’’ their hype Fanned their ash from your palms as your ass cheeks close ranks It’s getting personal ‘20 And if we’re playin’ your game better give you a name Let’s call him Norm the mouthy da who always goes that bit too far with his knows-it-all and did anyone ask? Or is Norm the unenlightened dope that delivers pails of embittered trope to low backroads cos we’ve all flipped the switch to silent mode Slamming immigrants, bleats his life’s banes - ignorance dripping like vomit through chains Or is Norm a cheat who’d have you think he’s the leader When the cap fits the tongue shifts to announce it’s deceiver Or the here-he-goes heckler at the best show in town the year that can’t get the dance moves - to lead or to follow? When it just needs to SIT THE FUCK DOWN, NORM with his third mutated leg


PAGE 169

HOWLING PRESS

and be cool, man The year of Norm won’t be told or home-schooled nods from season to season ‘ah yeah I’ll tone it down now’ but has pockets of shitstorms about to take towns With an effigy burning of the annals of ‘20 Reflected and infected in all who descend it... And we will, the come-down maybe haphazard But first Norm 2020 sit down you mad bastard No socials, shared vocals, no backslapping locals No hugging, more shrugging, constant pulling of rugging and still it’s unfinished - here hold my drink Will someone please, right here Wipe to the ether this calendar year

It’s disease and warp, it’s clown-run town Can we collectively gather and PUT IT THE FUCK DOWN? With sanitized hand on shuddering heart In history In journals In the ears of our young ones In the voices that rise on the ripple of change

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 170

HOWLING PRESS

In our fresh rattled bones from our old broken cage From our seat at the table, beside 2020 Who’s been screaming all year Refusing to sit Maybe to tell us, if we listened, just plenty It can’t sit down and shut its mouth Because her house was burning while we were all living loud And mad Norm was just telling us - through the storm of shit’s trail ‘I’m worn-out, run-down, you got me wrong THAT IS NOT MY NAME’

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY


PAGE 171

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

2o’clock matinee DALLAS DEL SUMMERS

I stood in front of the sink for 2 minutes I tried washing my hands during what I thought Would be the slowest part of the damn movie But now I’ve been here 5 minutes I flash my hands under the faucet and no water pours out The men next to me line up and wash their hands In the pouring water adjacent I’m stubborn, determined and frustrated I stay in my lane refusing to change sinks I don’t care about the damn movie anymore I’ve been in here 30 minutes Scrubbing my hands raw Exfoliating the dead skin calloused by labor I paid good money to enjoy this 90-minute diversion from reality To eat under-salted, over buttered, burnt popcorn With a 30-dollar beverage and a pretty woman next to me But I’ve been in here 2 hours now Just trying to wash my hands after holding my cock I assume my date has left already Infuriated how a man like me Could have the audacity to ditch her at the movie theater I don’t even care anymore I’m too focused on the shitty sink And the shitty motion detector I peel the skin off my fists Like the third day after a sunburn


PAGE 172

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

A kid walks out of a stall and looks at me As he passes his hands beneath The soap dispenser beside me. It spits out a pink foam He rubs his hands then stretches them beneath the faucet

It spouts. The water comes gushing I try to put my bloodied hands Beneath the water but it stops The kid smirks at me He watches my blood drip into the sink As he dries his hands with the paper towels That keep dispensing out of the machine for him I guess you must be alive for these damned things to work A dead guy just can’t catch a break Can’t wash his hands after a day’s worth of honest work Can’t scrub the scrutiny off him Or the piss off his fucking hands


PAGE 173

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

Laundromat Novel JOSEPH SZALINSKI

I wanna write the next, big “Laundromat Novel.” Fuck writing the inane fare reserved for beaches during summer vacations or meant for passing time on flights en route to visit relatives. I wanna write the discarded tomes left on cold, unforgiving machines, laid next to detergent and dryer sheets. Something to be finger-fucked by neighborhood recluses one never happens to see at the local bar or grocery store; who manage to coalesce there at odd hours… strung-out, sleep-deprived, and generally bothered. I wanna write something so engrossing, it causes people to shrink their nice clothes or absent-mindedly add some color to their whites. Fuck the silence of a library! The steady hum of a spin-cycle will be an ambient soundtrack to my text; a perfect complement to the smorgasbord of odors wafting around—making the experience more immersive. Something so provocative it causes someone to throw it

in with their pillow cases, so the bleeding ink allows them to slumber on paragraphs pined over by my dreams. Giving me due cause to leave another copy when I’m about town, running errands


PAGE 174

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

Welcome home LOISA FENICHELL

We begin close, watch the birds sweat inside of their nests. Today the day is July, northeastern humidity like tasting the pasta that cooks slow-boil in the pot. Package me your essential aura. Send it to me painstakingly by post. Today is tax-day, belated, humming like a wood thrush. On another plane my parents’ attic throbs with memory: ragged band t-shirts, packs of American Spirits. I love you best with your sharp inhalations, walking across 9W, the cars whirling past like plasticity. In youth we did not know one another. As a child I played with none of your toys. Yet now we walk side-by-side, sit together in the shape of no thumb. In an antique shop I want always to remember as being in the middle of nowhere, I ask you which calendar it is you like best: the one with the crude dog cartoons or the one with photographs of mothers & their children in the fashion of Madonna & Christ. A week prior to getting my period, I am convinced of another immaculate conception: I feel nauseous & consume jars of pickles. Scientifically there is logic to this. Even when sitting in my messy bedroom I wish to think of myself as immaculate as the human condition – which as everybody ought to know yes does remain very maculate, like canoeing in the Adirondacks rather than sailing in Nantucket. Everybody on my father’s side has a Protestant first name & everybody on my mother’s side has a last name that ends in ‘stein.’ I am young, celebrating Chanukah like a dividend. I am walking to the Hebrew school with the rabbi of whom I think my mother is jealous. In that I like him like I do my dolls. How long has it been since I have last been bathed. An early afternoon in Baja California, I taught my brother to urinate in the tub. My mother was furious as the rattlesnakes that draped themselves over the trees, so bare underneath a goddess’ sun. Is it my fault I think in terms of adjectives. Am forgetful. I remember your face, because it is happening right now, smoothed over my stomach like a cross.


PAGE 175

HOWLING PRESS

LYRIC AND FREE VERSE POETRY

The Body Knows When a Lie Hits Home LOISA FENICHELL In New York, it was style, bathrooms just to hold onto good cries, dates with anarchists. Afterwards, the bathroom in the McDonald’s, by the West 4th Street Station, across from the IFC. I walked past the dribble of basketballs, the cigarette smokers with the ash along their thumbs. I realized that this was it: a long mark of omens, the lists I wrote in middle school: “Top 10 Reasons Why Food is the Devil.” For so long I wanted a new body, knowing that life could have felt so different: I could have stepped into a yoga class without feeling such guilt. I could name the lists of lies I’ve told, to my parents, to my therapists, on dates, to make me sound more fascinating. It’s human to want the best stories, those that mirror our pains like damp-grey wishing wells. Let’s say I did touch myself in the bar’s bathroom, that fleeting desire that hits strong as a subway car. The nights when my desire for you was full of stench, odorous as dead cats. In New York, when a pet dies in an apartment, it’s the job of his owner to leave his carcass out on the sidewalk, the fee $50 to have him cremated. Somewhere, anywhere, let it be midnight, my body wanted like a Chinese paddlefish in the midst of a lengthy ocean. I don’t want anybody to know of the stories I’ve told. The ways I’ve escaped death, those games of Manhunt we used to play in our yards as children. Make no mistake: it’s easy to fall into the golden hour.

Profile for Howling Press

Howling Press Issue 1  

Howling Press Issue 1  

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded