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Trophy Wife


Trophy Wife is published in dedication to ALL artists of any gender representation, sexual identity, socioeconomic background, race, religion, age, occupation or generation. We welcome you regardless of if you have ever been published or started creating 20 years ago or yesterday. We want to meet you where you're at and see where we all go. Come here to share, create, question, relate, divulge, play, challenge, scream. We are forever in gratitude to the artists who collaborate with us. In our church of trouble, there are no rules. We accept submissions for future issues on a rolling basis. Stay in touch for themes and new issues at: www.schadenfrau.com info@schadenfrau.com

Featured Artists Editor: Kelli Reilly Published By: Schadenfrau Studio

CJ Benenati Ashley Alderton Ryan Blewett Tom Krantz Memphis W. Cortes Ryan Kenneth Hanson Jackie Liu Starcrossed Losers Zach Roberts

Rachel Music Nadine Tardie Shimmy & Tug Carlie Reilly Sophie White Jaxon Bartok Will Hallett Brote Brooklyn Naomi Barnett Hannah Tardie

editor's note TL;DR By the end of July 2018, I was married and had officially opened shop with Schadenfrau Studio and the ever-present, and looming cloud of depression and despair hung heavy over me but alas a realization was to be had. Being married to Aaron and starting Schadenfrau were two things I very much wanted but I didn't know that I was going to simultaneously feel the most profound weight of my inner doubts, stereotypes, labels and where I thought I would or should be by a certain point in my life, all at once. Everything I worked so hard for, made active and present decisions in, began to feel like a game of Life that I was just relearning the rules to. Decisions I was previously confident in, I began to question: Can I even be a wife? What does being married mean What if we start this studio and fail? Can I trust anyone? Am I a real artist? What IS my art? WHO AM I?! The inevitable fraud complex laid itself thick upon me. As I began to work through these doubts, questions and identity complexes, it all came down to me sinking into believing and following the tropes of what marriage is and how you do it and what being an artist is and how you show it. 

photo by Aga Maru Trophy Wife was born from these burgeoning discoveries. The more I peeked into my relationship with myself and how that translates into my kinship with everything & everyone around me, I welcomed more of the seismic shifts and learned to do more than survive. It's not about being right or having the answer; it's about choosing to grow by embracing each other and cultivating your creed along the way.  Nothing can be done alone, and nothing is worth doing if it is void of intention. As we all are learning to have a relationship with oneself and redefine the words that once taunted, undermined, misinformed and degraded us, I invite you to join me in taking those idioms and making them your own. Many of you already are, and I acknowledge and am grateful for everyone before me who has lived to change preconceptions and refused to become one. I hope every reader of every background, finds something in our debut issue, that moves them, that challenges them, and that reminds them that they too can be a Trophy Wife, they just need to decide what that means. We are limitless, and we are not bound to the way things are supposed to be. Each issue of Trophy Wife will explore a new theme and welcomes you to its first issue. Enjoy Relationship to Self, Issue 001.

A Fictional, Unscripted Podcast on Two Absolutely Made-Up Sex Workers Shimmy and Tug will open your eyes to a whole new world of slutventures, tickle your funny bone(r)s, and deepen the everimportant dialogue on sex work and its relation to culture, media, and public policy. You'll get answers you didn't know you wanted and hear stories you won't hear anywhere else. Follow for all the updates and get your front row tickets to the Vice Capades!

CJ BENENATI CJ Benenati is a New York based visual designer in the film & animation industry. Her credits include Kubo and the Two Strings (2015), Missing Link (2019), and Moon and Me (2018). Her portfolio can be found online at cjbenenati.com & @bene_color.

Self-Tanner happiness hinges

terracotta patella

orange is the warmest


kelli reilly CJ Benenati

Yes, President Trump, I am a Young Man and Afraid President Trump, I am afraid. I fear that I have not done enough for #MeToo, and my actions are complicit, guilty toward our toxic male-dominated culture. I am afraid to look myself in the mirror knowing that my gender alone is capable and culpable of oppressing women. I fear my past actions may have hurt the women close to me. I fear that forgiveness is not enough and action is the only deterrent. I fear that I may not be enough to mentor the next generation of young men in how to treat a young woman right. I cannot speak for the entire sex, but my conscience is restless to the fact I can’t just forget it all. The wrong I have done, the bystander at late nights, all for the acceptance from my male-dominated class. I am afraid of the men vying for public office who can’t be vulnerable. To know that we have done wrong and denying allegations will not absolve us all. I am afraid our land of laws do not meet the bar to protect those who are forced to carry the scars. I fear I can do wrong to a woman and walk away. I fear the war for men’s rights is a cover to hide from our insecurities that women have been right and will continue to be right. I do not fear that my thoughts, feelings, and actions will not be a burden to women, now. The pain I feel for the wrong I’ve done has taught me a heavy price. A price I hope the next generation will never have to pay. For I am young man, and I have done wrong. I ask for forgiveness, and I fear that may not be all to it. How will I be deemed worth to not only fight on the righteous side of #MeToo, and yet, conquer the wrongs of my past? The only good, I am thankful this pain has taught me how to be a better man for the future of women to come.

CJ Benenati

Zach Roberts is a young professional in San Francisco who happens to lead free walking tours. Account Executive @Faire. Content Writer @Free SF Tour.

Ashley Alderton poetry&paintings

I. Does ethereal lay in its ancient construction— of the air, with no hard body to root? Would it be you see a cloud, And forget the weight of its million pounds? And forget the strength of the gales that wing its sails?

II. A blanket of weight pins down the shapelessness of the day with a blue that can only be echoed by the corners of the ocean forever unseen that would render an I to eternity and a diamond to dust

III. The quietest whisper echoes with a dagger for each crack that has differentiated itself today to reverberate back “you are alone�

Leviathan By Ryan Blewett

"Daydream" Digital Media by Ryan Kenneth Hanson

The entire world looked back at me from the endless depths of the beast’s black eyes. In that moment, reality seemed flexible. After all, my search had spanned over half my life - two decades of sleepless nights and fallen comrades. There have been those who doubted me, those who pushed me forward. None of it mattered, because the beast was looking at me. I didn’t care where it came from. I didn’t care why it was here. Those questions seemed permanently painted on every headline. Everyone else looked at the beast as some wondrous thing; despite the accidents, despite the terror it ravaged. They said there was a great beauty to that flying thing. We should study it, learn from it. They heralded its potential and gave it a name: the Leviathan. I hated it all, but that’s not to say I disagreed. I saw potential. This was an opportunity. This was manifest destiny. I would hunt the monster and kill it. My life had true purpose. The Leviathan looked at me with eyes like bottomless holes. It was gliding past my ship at a slow, almost casual pace. Its wings fluttered delicately despite their gargantuan size. They had not figured out how this creature flies. I was confident that I could destroy the monster. I had enough ammunition on my airship to pierce its dense flesh. It would come crashing down, undoubtedly creating chaos and destruction wherever its gargantuan corpse landed. It would be worth it. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew my loyal crew was waiting for the order. They wanted it almost as much as I did. I had played the moment out in my head, time and time again. I was prepared for every eventuality. There was no reason to falter or second guess myself. I didn’t think that was what I was doing, but I remained silent. I looked back at the Leviathan. I couldn’t tell how long it took for the airship to fully pass the beast. Eventually, my perception of time returned to normal and I broke eye contact as the Leviathan disappeared into wisps of gentle cumulus clouds. I could hear shouting from the deck; I knew the crew was confused. I was too. I felt something when I looked into the beast’s eyes. I couldn’t define it, and I’m not sure it has a definition. There are things I have been sure of that I no longer know to be true. My airship continued to fly away from that great, flying Leviathan. The only destination I had ever known was behind me. Ryan Hanson is an illustrator, designer, animator and motion designer at Group SJR living and working in Brooklyn, who has drawn for Mashable, Rubble Kings, New Stand, Reebok, Spotify, and FTI. His work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators. You may or may not of seen him sketching on the subway. https://www.ryanhansonillustration.com

i heard in china people are starting to write great contemporary novels on their phones. i keep losing lyrics to songs ive written to iphones in the pool or the toilet or lost and bloackout and i even once dropped it in the snow getting in the car and came back to look for it and ran it over. and the screen was flakes of plastic glass in not fractals. and somewhere in my apartment i have an old fat square iphone in an otter case with a blasted screen. i used to throw my old lg flipphone at the ground and it was explode into three pieces: battery, back, phone. and in some way this felt hetero and flirty. and camera phones never really had an effect on me since i would go months or years at a time without letting anyone take a photo of me and my facebook profile had suspiciously only a couple hundred photos when all the boys had thousands of photos. it wasn’t until i met my partner that i sent nudes and found the feminine angles of my thighbooty with the phone extended out away from my body. and over the years ive sat so many times with the voice recorder on my phone sat open next to me while i sang and wrote my songs on the guitar in which every proper note or singing was washed back to me with my moms voice in my head praising and its unclear now who else was listening some server of white men trained at westpoint or what url. and when i was in china we would buy our own local phones with chinese sim cards so we could text eachother and get in touch with the host families. or that one evening near the canadian border when i skied silently in the night light with no service and if i fell and broke my leg i would have been out in the rain that came the next day. and wouldn’t have made it home safe. after getting off instagram and facebook for long time i went back on instagram for a minute and it was a nightmare of skinny muscle boys with face stubble at their homes in nantucket from college. and without those apps i just check my email four hundred times per day. or my parents only speak to me on speaker phone together now. and when i was young and we were headed to the ski mountain for the weekend and i could see my best friend and in would go to the family phone to make a call to make a plan with him and it would ring and it would be him. laying sideways to the roof on the crook of my back in my mothers car playing snake on her nokia while she watched my sisters soccer game. a years worth of therapy over the phone in quiet corners all over the city with a man who’s known me since i was a boy and grew up in the bronx. photos of my puppy. and the sound of my partners breath at night from across town or the world or me and memory. my mom reading my texts and scanning drug deals fumbling through the phone. lolita. cormac mccarthy on the screen. alarms and the early morning anxiety associated with each harmony. news. dual push. nets hung from foxcon buildings to prevent the makers from suicide. what appropriation of architecture could be used to understand this. iphone as projectile. final queer limb before utopia. throw my phone at the president. the impossibility

september 30th 4:53pm

by will hallett

Hannah Tardie

Before the Light Wails Familiar shapes seep out of the ghost wood in my home. Clacking pads, and  a panting cacophony orchestrate my memories of you.

Do the dead miss the living? Do buried bones ache for marrow?

Questions for the sake of rhetoric are worse than answers for the sake of comfort. It is better to be veiled  

in the Holy unknowing of what looks down at us, if they have eyes or know how to play the trumpet.

Poetry by Tom Krantz

how to keep your houseplants alive during winter

by @brotebrooklyn

THIS FOOLISH HEART BY STARCROSSED LOSERS STARCROSSED LOSERS is the title songwriter Kyle Morgan has given his ongoing musical/spiritual stumble through time.  Not really a band, not exactly a solo project, Losers is more like a continually-shifting musical collective gathered around the NYCbased singer and his evocative music.  For the past ten years, in collaboration with many a dear musical companion, Morgan has formed different iterations of Losers everywhere he's lived: central Pennsylvania, southern Maine, the Cotswolds of England, and most recently, New York City.  With two fulllength albums already under his belt, Morgan explores a range of styles in the "Americana" tradition, from stripped-down acoustic balladry and love-lorn parlor laments, to old-school rock'n'roll and distorted proto-punk.  Kyle is currently in the process prepping for STARCROSSED LOSERS' third studio album to be recorded at Plaid Dog Recording in Boston, MA.

Listen & Download www.starcrossedlosers.com

Memphis W. Cortes, Age 9 I like to make art because it's fun & easy. People can’t judge you about it. It’s not like a test where you have to get everything right. You can’t make mistakes. You can keep making the same thing or try new things. You need to be yourself. Nobody can tell you that you’re doing it wrong. Ever.

BARFING RAINBOW UNICORN, PENCIL & MARKER “They can never have enough” “Who’s they?” “One sec...let me try something. *Adds additional work to piece* “It’s still thinking about candy when it’s throwing up”

GLITTER GIRL, PENCIL, MARKER & RHINESTONES “Honey loves candy and in her neighborhood, there’s this one special candy shop. Each time she goes, she wears the same blue skirt and gets her favorite thing: a rainbow twist lollipop. Her favorite color is “Little Boy Blue.” Every birthday she gets a gift certificate since the owner of the candy shop is her great-great uncle.”

REGINA GEORGE, PENCIL & MARKER “The unicorn is sassy and love pink and is perfect.” “What makes it sassy?” “She’s sassy because she’s POWERFUL” “I love that”

Too Fab To Fit In Story & Photos by Carlie Reilly, Age 15

To this day I remember coming home from school and telling my older sister that someone made fun of my unconventional, tacky outfit. To her, she wanted to beat up an elementary schooler, but to me, I was merely unphased. Fashion is important to me, and I knew if I liked my outfit that's all that mattered. Fitting in isn't a concern in my life. Though it may sound cliche, “being yourself” is a necessary principal I live by. I express myself through my fashion, and I take inspiration from media and my close friends. My close friends and I have a similar style we feed off of each other's looks and share clothes. They encourage me and have shaped who I am today. I feel that my personality shows through my style and considering that my personality is my favorite part about myself I spend time styling myself. Sometimes styling myself is hard, I have an abundance of clothes, and they're all super different. I shop for most of my clothes at thrift stores, every piece is unique, and everything is super cheap. Of course, thrift shopping can be overwhelming, but there is a method to the madness. I try to get out of my comfort zone and pushing limits is key. Finding cool stuff you like is super easy when you venture into sections that would usually be out of your safe space. I can’t classify my style; I just aim to be original. Originality is essential to being yourself, if you continually try to reciprocate someone else’s persona, you get farther and farther from your true self. Being in high school, I’ve slowly grasped who I am. I’ve gradually become more body-positive and started to love myself. Though we don’t spend every moment loving ourselves for who we are, the least we can do is respect our being and be thankful for what we have. I may dress peculiar sometimes and wear clashing colors, but the fashion is what you make it, so embrace it!

stupid grown ups written by rachel music

I've heard - and been party to Cynical philosophical dissertations at underage bars full of shiftless types craving hardship, and the young precious tweedy folks who've just finished haunting That One Coffee Shop That Really Understands the Pour-Over. Crime, they'd say - I'd say trespasses mendacity prevarication All sin is theft. Theft of possessions, to be sure. Theft of comfort, of opportunity, of trust, of fidelity, of a man's wife, of your professor's tenure, of life - if we are to be so morbid. Only now, besieged each night's sleep an uneasy seduction, each new lover a desperate search for sleep, my sins ringing in my ears, banshees on the winds of the highlands of my mind, Only now does my theft stand stark against memories before and since. I do not remember so much, but yes, this. I do not know when I stole her. If I was 17 or 31 If I was brunette or platinum If I had a dog, a husband, a father then. It is a life apart from mine, lived in this startling sequence blocked out, redacted, out of time and somehow defining everything. When did I accomplish this? It gives edges and teeth to all I've done. Adds definition and prestige and breadth and perhaps sympathy, if I were ever to deserve such a kindness.

I cannot tell you where I was when I hatched my kidnapping plot, Nor what drew me to the child Nor whose name the car was under Nor how I afforded the drugs which kept me awake. (At one point a tiny bag on the floor of a truck stop smelled of acetone - I chanced it; ripped it open with my teeth and licked the seams hungrily, catching my haunted face in a dented mirror. It tasted of crushed vitamins, petrol, and urinal cake, but it got me through another state line.) She is breathing slowly, in the back of the car.

Thank God. Thank God she's sleeping and that she's in the back seat and most of all that she's just breathing. Thank God. She is wrapped in her second-favorite blanket The first we left in her room - collateral Around some stuffed animals, a crude roulade, a tetherball and a wig an ersatz head. The dogs, drugged The parents, drugged The child, simply dreaming. She coos and ruches, makes and unmakes soft little fists as I drive and drive My ass goes numb Mile markers bleed together We pass the Conodoguinet And Calf Killer Creek Somewhere near a Falling Rocks sign, the car lurches and heaves I coast to the shoulder on its death rattle It's all gravel and high beams and cicadas out here. I'm unwilling to take my hand off of the hood as I scour the highway, for fear that the car will vanish (A repossession) Terrified to hike my skirt (never again, or well, not with her here) I gingerly lift her lax little body from the seat She's weightless for the first two miles, but only those first two.

I paid the motel in cash. The room at the end. Don't send housekeeping. Do Not Disturb. . Inside her bleary little eyes blink open I can’t look over or I’m sunk There’s so much to finish and so little time. I am unpacking Laying all the supplies on the comforter (somehow rough and waxy at once) But she busies herself with a coloring book. With a blue pen And a black pen She shades in a blueish black bear And a blackish blue picnic. I taste blood. Fuck. I knew I’d forget something. Within 5 hours the room is prepared Windows nailed shut Phone line cut Glow in the dark stars on the ceiling The fridge full of microwave meals (I confiscated the minibar) Radio, gone Gideon’s Bible, gone Ice bucket, left to become a drum or a helmet Every square inch of free space is decked out to perfection Toys and pillows and beanbag chairs Dolls and plastic armor and a xylophone An easel, a hula hoop, gallons of bubble bath A VCR with dozens and dozens of MGM Musicals (With schmaltz and peonies And waltzes Viennese) Danny Kaye vehicles Betty Grable’s perfect, somehow-sexless legs Title sequences so very long they could put her to sleep Some have a singing chorus of midgets who are all billed as one entity I’m ashamed that it still cracks me up She won’t be, though If I pull this off she won’t be ashamed of anything

She squeals with glee from time to time As the room gets softer, safer, stacked to the rafters The laughter feels muffled, with no hard edges to bounce from. No glass, no corners, no danger, no parents no bedtime, no monsters, and only one rule: Never open the door . I kneel and cup her chubby cheeks The sun shines out of the gaps in her smile I'm talking around the eight-ball in my throat Stale breath aimed at her floppy hat I say Rachel? Never open the door. It’s only stupid grownups out there. You don’t want to be a stupid grownup, do you? I'll be back every day to play with you. She says “my name's Jackie” Rachel, I promise, okay, maybe not every day, But I’ll be here as much as I possibly can. I’ll be back with new dresses and chicken nuggets, and we can jump on the bed! Pick out a movie to watch, won’t you? She says, “my name's Jackie” If anyone knocks on the door you just stay quiet as can be, okay? You play the little mouse game. Rachel the little mouse. And once they leave – those bad, bad sneaky Petes – you can crawl back out of your hidey hole. Doesn’t that Doesn't that sound like fun? “but my name's Jackie” people might come up to the door one day, Rachel, and they might tell you things. They might tell you things you've done. Or things you're going to do. Or people who get hurt and it's your fault. If they show up, honey, They're gonna call you mean names. They're gonna tell you to stop crying and grow up. She sniffs. Oh my god no.

No no no no no.

I find a marabou boa and dance with her until I roll both my ankles and each time I say Son of a Biiiiiiiiiscuit I chew a dinosaur vitamin while we giggle over the vessel with the pestle and the flagon with the dragon I sneak out while she sleeps and limp back to my car (All of the miles, Nothing is weightless) while I drive, I shriek myself mute and somewhere in all this, I forget what I've done.

schadenfrau Schadenfrau is an emergent interdiscplinary studio dedicated to playful defiance. Kelli, the Trouble Woman, and Rachel, the Instagatrix, founded the company after years of trying to follow the PR maze of "content women should make." So, armed with formidable experience and an insatiable lust for stories, they decided to redraw the entire map. With a slate spearheaded by Yes, Mistress - an irreverent workplace comedy set in an NYC dungeon and spiked with sex-positive podcasts, incisive docu-series, zines, and more, Schadenfrau is a home for content as sharp as it is surprising. We defy genres because fortune favors the bold. Don't let anyone tell you what to watch, what to listen to, what to binge and what to love; fear is so last century, and we're all practically cyborgs now. Who you are shouldn't dictate what you watch -- what you watch reveals who you are. In the Church of Trouble, there are no gates, no boundaries, and no rules. Come play with us. @schadenfraustudio www.schadenfrau.com

TOM KRANTZ SEA SALT CHIPS Dear Sea Salt Chips, Do you know what truly divides the Mason Dixon line? The cold. Up north it stings your skin. Down south its insidious. It crawls into your bones and follows you inside. Dear sea salt chips. Take me to the beach, why don’t you? You were always fragile, and I, toothy. I think about you only in the absence of vinegar which I apologize for, but such is the ephemeral bond between memory and the missing. I remember seeing you at the wake in a Walmart bowl. Unlike the beach, they buried her eyes and toes when the sand turned to dirt. If it’s any consent, I turned to a different kind of vinegar the kind you drink out of a brown bag on the long trip from 207th st. down to the Rockaways. The ride from South Carolina back to New York is longer but damn you two - chips off a cold block. Not vinegar, but the ex-lover who rubs circles on my chest says my girlfriend. There are 2400 mg of salt in a single bag of you. I don’t know how much sea salt is in tears or semen but I’ve probably gotten close to a single bag of you. Sorry it’s been so long.

Before Turning 25 It’s okay to have the world in front of you. There are many windows to watch the raindrops trace your mother’s cheekbones. A rose is a rose is a rose between the world and the windowsill. You sit inhaling dust, breath, and ozone. You sculpt sidewalk and cracks. Cure meats on boards. Drizzle honey out of memory like a child at the library homesick at the smell of cedar

FOR KATIE as you hunt 25th street. There will come the realization – you can be more than one person. Two warm lips kissing cold wind. Calloused palms buried at the shore. You can be forgotten. Lost between intangibles – where the warm amber sleeps in your steely blue eyes. The slit that falls down your lover’s forehead.


by Jaxon Bartok, age 9 I can't relate to what I feel now, but I feel like I just want to go KAPOW! My patience has failed, my heart is black. All I feel is attack, through the morning, through the day this endless wave of fire has just begun!

Woop! Woop! Finally they're here, the fire is rising to my ear. I can no longer hear. Please, help. Come now, before this endless arch of time takes me to my end. I hope my friend will be here! The flames die, the sirens stop. The street crowded with black, yellow, and red jackets. Hoses fold up, embers crackle, but then someone gets tackled. What's going on? Suddenly, an explosion goes off. Bells ring. Police cars show up, I fall to the ground and feel as if I'm going to throw up.

Sophie SophieWhite, White, Age Age16 16

35mm 35mmFilm Film 

Nadine Tardie

mixed media & poetry

Dinner for Two Sunday I will turn 48. In two years I will be panicked about not having lived yet and will be turning 50. By then Halloween at my house will be a memory, not a current event. The second wave of kids applying to college will begin and I will wonder who is this man I am married to. The wild ride of raising children will be slowing to an incomprehensible strangeness. Laundry will be easy, towels will stay folded or hang, my baby will be learning to drive. I don’t know this world. I barely feel like dinner for four is dinner at all. I can’t imagine dinner for three or two. I still buy too many potatoes and apples— forgetting. I’ve heard that happens— making the usual dinner for six then only two show up. My older daughter resents my buying her socks or makeup. I suppose the youngest will grow into that. But, what do I say to my VISA card which has, for 23 years, bought clothes and crayons and backpacks for four people who aren’t me? I’m going to miss these years. I do already.

Helpless to Time Downstairs summer is slowing more than perceptibly by the pilot of Fall. Yes, it’s barely August, but we have no days left for the beach. And new backpacks and notebooks sneak weekly into the kitchen. Evening itself is tired of staying up so late and calls it a day earlier. My street is sloughing off summer to it’s shoulders and has adopted an autumnal vanishing point. The air conditioner holds it’s belly as it chuckles loud and deep at the memory of July when it worked 24-hour shifts and the condensation ran in rivulets down the gutter. I long for June with its blank days pointing to more blank days to come in July, that held stacks of unread books, unprinted photos, and uncooked barbecues. It’s blankness promised everything was possible, and I believed it too, as I always do. Now I wish I could do everything in the coming 49 days. But Fall stands with it’s hands on it’s hips. It holds September on a serving platter and shoves it ever forward toward August, Hints that it could steal, if it wanted, the last blank days of summer and I could do nothing but watch.

Feel Your Feelings I’ve not slept again— my therapist thinks it is the usual suspect: I’m not feeling my feelings. He said I just need to carry them with me. I thought maybe I should add them to my cel phone list of contacts or carry a list in my wallet so I know their names. He said these feelings are primitive, irrational, and they consume me if I don’t own them. They and my conscience nag me, he said, nag me until my older, evolved judgment moves through the days taking the feelings along. Just like I’ve done with my children for years—strapping one or two in a car seat and moving through the days. But I always knew their names and their cry and their faces. These feelings though, are silent, patient, faceless. I think maybe I need to learn Braille so I can learn their names.

Kelli Reilly I wasn't born yesterday; I was born tomorrow. I know it all. I am privy to everything. Â I have a tattoo of a semicolon just to spite Kurt Vonnegut. Milennial Sililoquy

The other day I went to see a movie in an actual movie theatre. Those who still find themselves moseying on over to the ole theatre, are whom I consider elite because we pay upwards $15 a pop to watch aging male leads and horror franchise prequels. Suffice to say, on this particular day, I was at the movies like any old bloke, alright? Listen, right off the bat; I did not even get carded to watch an R-Rated feature. The bumbling, apathetic booth attendant did me a real solid because the time it would have taken me to fish out my California and/or New York ID is about the same amount of time it would take me to go to the market next door for some theatre contraband. I cannot even remember a time when anyone in the army of bumbling, apathetic theatre employees ever checked mine (or anyone's) IDs in addition to their bags for outside snacks. Funny, because at this rate there must be more movie theatre shootings than Snickers and Shasta hoarding pre-teens...that is a discussion for another time. Anyhow, men, women and nightcrawlers alike schlep movie totes filled with anything from popcorn and candy to full-blown lobster dinners because we may be elite enough to buy an inflated movie ticket but Jesus, we aren't the 1%. I'm not in the business of procuring $45 hot dogs, and there is no way in hell Regal Cinemas would ever abide by the Poor Relief Act of 1601. So yeah, now that I discovered I had some extra time, I went next door to Westside Market which is now on the East Side as well- who knows what that's all about? Immediately, I was doused in sensory overload. I felt as if Mensa had stocked the store as some sort of societal-consumership experiment. Sushi and Deli Meats were being prepared behind the same counter, chips were hanging and cascading from the rafters, and there was cheese everywhere I turned. It was as if I was riding the Tube and every single person was wearing Burberry Khaki Trench Coats- a glitch in the Matrix. Amongst the chaos, I'm making dirty eye contact with my fellow vigilantes; We are all searching for the best snacks- crunchy but not too loud, sweet but not sickening, and cheap (at least less expensive than our original offerings). At this rate, I'm already missing Jason Bateman trailer #1. God knows: I DO NOT WANT TO MISS ANY MORE JASON BATEMAN TRAILERS. I needed to make a swift decision. That is when it happened; I found through the Bristol rubble and noise my Prairie Home Companion: The most fucking British chips that have ever existed. I didn't even taste these chips to know; I just knew how fucking British these chips were going to be. I don't even usually have an affinity for British paraphernalia, but I knew it would be an utter mistake if I didn't partake in the most fucking British thing there ever was. I'm not talking British stuff we all know like Scotch Eggs, Earl Grey tea, the abuse of "Keep Calm and Carry On," this was spiritual. If you could capture the essence of Great Britain if you could imagine how Great Britain tastes and feels, IT WAS THESE CHIPS.  I was the only one who knew this and I didn't want anyone else to catch wind of my discovery to be perfectly honest; so I coyly grabbed a bag of $27 beef jerky and Luftwaffefree German Raspberries. A very average, inconspicuous purchase. Nobody asserted suspicion. I was about to miss a Kevin Hart trailer, so I left without taking my change.

Silent Steps If I learned anything from dancing It was how to step silently Even when I run I can come up behind you, a ghost, my sneakers never quite falling into place Keeping pace, keeping space Keeping rhyme and rhythm meter and memory I do not speak in metaphor If you see my bones, know that they are bones I do not adjust the lighting Any more than I change the sound

We Have a Problem

It's like I lost in some cosmic game I never wanted to take up space but to be it Neither shining nor exploding but a black hole: Consumption was my folly Energy, they say, never dies So what do you do in a vacuum? If you can see the lights of Times Square up there Your mother wants you to come home Will gravity collapse this pit in my stomach? Will matters collide on the dining room table? Cast a load off, this ship is too heavy The cargo port with the gangplank down The countdown, to be read in Houston's voice: 110, 99, 88, To be less than 1 Liftoff. The more poems about your body The more sick you remind yourself to be I can smell the weather from the subway But it is only a passing rain


Naomi Barnett

the symptoms are man made and so is the diagnosis, but she says I did it to my self creating the problems that bite at the back of my neck and keep me tied on an everlasting loop for someone who hates math, I sure think about numbers a lot making wake up and bed time and 7:30 pace for my miles, 500s 32 ounces of water at a clip, the building blocks of all things poems don't need to be symmetrical all the fucking time my new therapist says we can cut down to every other week because I seem to be grasping the concepts of how to function as normal, but I think it's a ruse you can't unlearn what is inherent or that you've developed to survive the neanderthals had fight or flight and birds adapted their beaks I've got a rhythm as strict as gravity herself keeping me in circles as I orbit my earth

Therapy I didn't think about it much until I was asked about it in a booklet of what seemed to be endless papers, questioning my life and livelihood. If you answer these questions, we can give you a few words to show just how crazy you are. The official card, they need to renew it, for everyone's sake. On the page clearly intended to diagnose panic disorders, I was instructed via black bold printed type to rank 1-10, how true the statements were. 10 for truth. 54. I am afraid of falling into the subway/train tracks. 4 55. I am afraid of others pushing me into the subway/train tracks. 4 56. I am afraid of pushing others into the subway/train tracks. 4 So on for hundreds of numbers. These were low worry, low threat. I was living in Westchester, taking the train to work. Metro North into Grand Central. Walk a block to the office. Our first day together, she went through the booklet and asked questions about which answers to her were red flags of imperfections. We get to transportation. I love flying. I tell her. I love departing and I love arriving and I love being in the air, impossibly. I love the pit in my stomach at take off where you don't know if you're going to live or combust. At landing where you don't know if you're going to live or drown. Shrodiger's airplane. I hate driving. I tell her. I like to be the one driving for long trips, I know it's a control issue, that much is obvious. But if it's short I want the person I trust to drive. My parents mostly. Some days I can't drive at all. But I do the invisible brake thing, when other people drive. Every car is going to hit me. But I don't feel scared of the subway. Of the platform, of pushing people, of people pushing me. Of the rush, standing too close to the yellow line, peering into the tunnel for that flick of light that means I might not be late. No, I'm much more worried about being on time than dying.

Fast forward to a flash back. Reading the news about the man who jumped into the tracks to cover the body of the man who had a seizure and fell off the platform. The people around stood and stared (a day in the life.) They could see the light. The train was coming. He jumped, sheltered the body with his own in the 1 x 5 rectangle cut-out of the track, the part the train doesn't touch. Whether the train was local or express, whether he had to wait while it stopped to pick up commuters and bring them to their work, on time, or whether it screamed past him, I do not know. I could find out. What I'm more curious about is how the water in the hole doesn't electrocute him, if it comes in contact with the metal tracks. Maybe that's not how science works these days. I'd like to think I'd give my body to cover another, commitment issues aside. I haven't fully committed to life, so maybe this would be a breakup we both could handle. I think we'd all want to think of ourselves as such, the protector, the Superman. The ones people Google 5-8 years after the fact. Our third week, I tell her something I realized while walking home from the train. 54. I am afraid of falling into the subway/train tracks. 6 55. I am afraid of others pushing me into the subway/train tracks. 6 56. I am afraid of pushing others into the subway/train tracks. 6 We have crossed the threshold. Yet I do not know if I am scared or simply more cautionary, that I know myself, remember my tendency to jump no matter how high. If I am to be scared, I will be scared. I tell her this. That I worry because she planted the seed, that I worry that I worry because she planted the seed. It doesn't make it any less true.

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