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autumn 2010

In This Issue Corban Douglas

Page Not Found The Surgeon

Chen-ou Liu Estlin Thomas Claire Payne

Chinese English

When I Sat On The Steps

Sure I’m On The Reservation of Mind Let Go of Seeing Understanding

Damien Frost

The Reformatted Love of Ghosts Creperum Astrometrics

Les Wicks Jean McLeod Hope Kauffman



Fireflies Rain

Tamara Siskic Credits

Get Wet, Will You?

Corban Douglas

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Corban Douglas

the Surgeon because emotions would interfere with what he must do the surgeon is pure intent pure reason detached unfeeling is the only way he can save a life

later perhaps he vomits he remembers the blood on his hands he knows that he reached inside another human being

Chinese English Chen-ou Liu

what did you say he yells at me staring into my black eye he just cannot understand the English shards from my bleeding tongue

Estlin Thomas

When I sat on the Steps when i sat on the steps i could hear the television static(shooowweeeiii) coming from the neighbor’s windows after midnight(mr oldman asleep in his armchair,stained white t -shirt and boxers, empty scotch glass on the end table) maybe he was there because mrs oldwoman had a new life with mr newman.

maybe he was there because all he had left of his son after the war was the framed picture and medal he showed me a thousand times (that’s my son with his uniform on. you didn’t know him, but you’d like him. you know,i remember…) maybe he was just there because he had nowhere else to be.

but,i promised myself that i would never be there. not like that(never let myself be so clothed in so dirty white, so sleepy drunk. never let someone i love be put in a frame. never telling the same stories to neighbor children about the past. i’d never be caught like that, asleep in static. never.

and, most of all, i’d never let another person see me so clearly through my own windows)

Claire Payne


Sure I’d fall jump be pushed I mean what could happen besides that I’d split + splat into the thousand pieces of infinity I began as

Claire Payne

I’m on the Reservation of Mind I’m on the reservation of Mind fragile suspicious self-deprecating bitter confused hurt angry And I have no ancient identity ancient ceremony vision passage community And I did not make these lines definitions limitations that confine confound me or did I?

Claire Payne

Let Go of Seeing Understanding let go of seeing understanding knowing controlling finding flying gliding smiling catching perfection trace growth rings with a finger then stop let go live


The Reformatted Love Of Ghosts Damien Frost is it so strange it is so odd to even her face to debut a kiss where we format and unformat her love like a page indented velvet lips a silver buckle a spade in the loam of her face like warm clay a vestibule where i

am sleeping as a cat my tail a coiling snake my paws ink stained ring-bearer pillows pond water bowls for eyes to say i love you at her ankles at her thighs at her navel is it so strange it is so odd to unevenly love her as she loves leaves leaves to love and gone the oddest of i am we are so strange to be the re formatted love of ghosts

Creperum Damien Frost Cautious memories adrift in grounded static, recorded in pencil notes, an uncommon typography: (Perhaps they are blueprints outlining the proposed construction of some device which would deliver heat and light and, barring miscalculation, the targets, “will hear nothing…”) Their fondness of history, of its numerous retaliations and responses, encoded by ballistics-savants in love with the music of undetonated munitions; hollow brass, the color of an artist’s eyes, reflected in the shells, reflected in the eyes, lit seemingly from within; an inorganic hue, muzzle-flash linguistics, ears built by generations of composers whose dire melodies—fatally pianissimo, delivered alongside rapidly descending crescendos, the lowest notes in the register—brought sleep and fire.

From within the hollows of their works, their created void sends back whispers, the ghosts of voices whose owners do not speak. Bridges destroyed by bombs with perfect pitch, perfect trajectory; loosed by children who failed to understand that gravity does not know any better, does not concern itself with the end, only the line itself. Was a city made of light changed here? Ash and splinters while they slept, the sinking tonality of breaths slowing, in unifying noumena, the love traveling like electricity between the tips of ten fingers meeting ten fingers; the pairs of eyes frozen peering skyward at the shivering roof-slats; the back cover of a book, which when closed at last reveals the deus ex machina; a simple machine, filled with eager fire, with light hungry for shadows and bricks and tightly-closed eyes, which knows only to fall, to keep falling, and to never stop; to kiss the earth, to open, to devour, its magnum opus ultimately nothing more than a ringing silence.

Damien Frost

Astrometrics To me, he was giant; his huge hands were cracked, but smooth, and he caught things with them, occasionally a leaf, but mostly tears. He was very sad being so close to the clouds, and so far from the rest of us. We would walk together, sometimes long into the night, and we would look up always. We would leave from his enormous house, and he would say, “I want to watch meteors fall,” and I would smile up at him, and he up at the stars, which simply refused to come down. As that summer waned and his tree trunk neck grew weary from the angle at which he forced it to carry his pumpkin-sized head, I asked him if ever he had seen a shooting star, and he said sadly, “No.” So we went on walking, and the air made us pull on coats, and his neck was crooked, and the stars were static.

A letter & the door abruptly poor this hour rots beneath that rubble of desire.

Les Wicks


Honesty filed under confrontation, she offered him nothing. Was he just famished? What was seen? Neither could remember how it goes, the perplexing schedule of new – holding hands, sneak breath from the other’s mouth. If one was the future the other became practice. They were momentarily extraordinary. There was no time. Shut the book.

Jean McLeod

Announcement Thoughts ricochet

Dad is gone.

until I’m sure I’ve spoken.

Gone? parrots the younger.

The children huddle, watch for my cue. I search the room for anything to help.

Dead, says his sister, matured by the death of her hamster last year. Gone…? he tries, again, but home for dinner? No.

He told me there are no fireflies here. Some eyes are virgin to the glow They are replaced by white moths, Lit by headlights before suicide. I spied a spotted crow, Perched atop a white iron cross.

Hope Kauffman


He picks insects from the foxtails, Waving along the black ribbon path. I found the fireflies under a knotted branch, Little bodies sleeping in a quilt of goose down. I gathered the small ones in my jacket pockets, To put them in the jelly-jars they once lit. But I have forgotten where I’ve put the jars, And the fireflies are no longer lit.

Hope Kauffman


The groom’s brim fills Tiny puddles gather on felt Clear beads cling to eyelashes Like grey ash on wheat-stems. Seventy red umbrellas and One striped black and grey Bob on a numb wake The waves cover the porch steps and The rain is static on a naked screen.

Tamara Siskic

Get Wet, Will You? Yes, he’s a bit younger And has narrow shoulders He takes a sip and then spits Yes, it was dripping down his chin Some carbonated soft drink from the vending machine Or spits watermelon seeds over the fence The night came The tiles were icy I suffered I wanted to sit on a plastic chair He stops to say Your body is like a soft pretzel At the end I will put my hand under your shirt I think about older men And their hair Alen’s hair was like dolls’ I tried to imagine it Suddenly I can see myself on a hood of a car I see him too This young man with narrow shoulders Pissing by the street Just a few meters far from the smashed vehicle I am staring at the pleats on his shorts He is amazing Surrounded by violet Lightning and weed Parts of body and pieces of clothes


credits Layout and Design by Josiah Spence ( Edited by Matthew Payne, Josiah Spence, Michael Young, and Suncerae Smith. All content Š 2010 Rust and Moth—ISSN 1942-5848. All contributors retain individual rights to their works upon publication. Thank you to all of our readers and incredible contributors.

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Rust+Moth: Autumn 2010  

The Autumn 2010 issue of Rust+Moth showcases cutting edge poetry by contemporary poets. Paired with a striking layout and design, the work w...

Rust+Moth: Autumn 2010  

The Autumn 2010 issue of Rust+Moth showcases cutting edge poetry by contemporary poets. Paired with a striking layout and design, the work w...