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Contents 8 Viva La differance by Ivan Jenson

37 Fires by Christopher Woods

9 The Big Burnout by Ivan Jenson

38 Artist Feature: Kris Kuksi

10 Solar Plexus by Jules Archer 11 Flipping Out by Shea Van Rhoads 12 Your Soul’s on Fire photography by Tawfick Espriella 20 The Sea Books by Chris Bird 24 Miniature de Nuit photography by Ying Wang 32 Incubator by Karley Bayer 35 Hog Heaven by Jules Archer 36 Harmonica by Alexander of Lawrence

52 Unrequited Love by Christy Leigh Stewart 54 Loneliest Thrill by Parisa Vaziri 60 Alice photography by Sam Beasley 70 Artist Feature: Jacques de Beaufort


Letter Issue 3

And now it is autumn. As we look out the window and see everything around us slowly dying (Well, not us. We exist in a tropical paradise.), we are reminded of the beauty of the cycles of nature. The beauty of life itself. This issue, we are encouraged to think mytho-poetically, are reminded of the power of words, and say goodbye to things that perhaps aren’t as important as we once thought they might have been. Among other things. And we couldn’t do so without our marvelous contributors, who make us what we are. So heat up some apple cider, disguise yourself, and don’t get carried away by the witches and goblins out in the night. Katherine Villari and Sam Beasley Editors-in-Chief


Contri butors L’Allure des Mots || Fall, 2011 || Issue No. 3


Ivan Jenson’s Absolut Jenson painting was featured in Karley Bayer runs the Filth zine (www.wix.com/the_ Art News, Art in America, and Interview magazine. filth/zine). She is from Baltimore, Maryland. She enHis art has sold at Christie’s, New York. His poems joys talking a great deal of smack around the Scrabble have appeared in Word Riot, Zygote in my Coffee, board, experiencing new flavors, and running amok. Camroc Press Review, Haggard and Halo, Poetry Incidentally, she is also disabled and uses a wheelchair. Super Highway, Mad Swirl, Alternative Reel Poets This year she had her left shoulder replaced. Future Corner, Underground Voices Magazine, Blazevox, and plans for the year include: going to the gun range, getmany other magazines, online and in print. Ivan Jenting her first tattoo, and turning 35! son’s novel Dead Artist has been published as an eBook for the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Christy Leigh Stewart has been pushing transgressive literature with books like Loath Letters and Terminally A paperback is planned for August 2011. Beautiful in an attempt to support the indy lit scene www.ivanjensonartist.com since 2009. http://christyleighstewart.com Parisa Vaziri is a PhD candidate in comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine. Her main interest is post-Freudian psychoanalytic theory, and its Ying Wang is a model and photographer based in various appropriations. Bangkok, Thailand. http://littlestylish.blogspot.com Tawfick Espriella Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, Edgardo (Tawfick) Espriella has always been surrounded by the arts. In 2001, he moved to Miami to start culinary school but after working for a while in that industry, he discovered his passion for fashion was stronger than his love of food. In 2007, he enrolled in Miami Ad School’s Fashion Photography Program to expand his skills and knowledge in the world of photography. Today Tawfick’s work appears in Ocean Drive Magazine, Trendy Magazine, E&W Magazine, Icon magazine, and he works with local model agencies Mc2, Next, and Front, as well as clothing clients We Love Colors, Funky Sexy Couture, and Hotpink, among others. Alexander of Lawrence emerges organically in a synthetic-based society.

Chris Bird was born and brought up in London but worked in Istanbul for a number of years as a freelance journalist and teacher. Influenced by the movies of Buñuel and David Lynch...love the words of William Burroughs and Jean Rhys. http://www.newseda.com Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer who lives in Texas. His books include a prose collection, UNDER A RIVERBED SKY, and a book of stage monologues for actors, HEART SPEAK. His work has appeared in many journals including GLIMMER TRAIN and NARRATIVE MAGAZINE. He shares a gallery with his wife Linda at Moonbird Hill Arts - www.moonbirdhill.exposuremanager.com/

Somewhere between being born and raised in the backwoods of Montana, Jules Archer developed a craving Shea R. Van Rhoads is a writer, teacher, researcher, for the written word. Today, she writes random stories humanitarian, entrepreneur, mother and dog-lover. of great genius and heartbreaking torpor while readShe holds degrees from Harvard and Simmons. In ing Playboy and sipping Blue Moon in her spare time. 2006, Ms. Van Rhoads co-founded the nonprofit Jules Archer has appeared recently or is forthcoming Temwani Children’s Foundation to help build a prifrom Metazen, Monkeybicycle, >kill author, PANK, mary school for orphans in Zambia. Her recent poetry Northville Review and elsewhere. She writes to annoy book, Quarters, explores the nuances of heart, mind, you at: http://julesjustwrite.wordpress.com spirit, and culture.


Katherine Villari and Sam Beasley || Editors-in-Chief Cover by Sam Beasley info@lalluredesmots.com


Special thanks to... ...every single one of our contributors. We love you all.


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Poetry:

Viva La differance by Ivan Jenson He walks barefoot across the hot coal challenge he set before his bare feet all in the hopes of impressing the girl who dips her toes into the cool pool and while he yells “Ouch” she sighs, “Ooh La La.”

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The Big Burnout by Ivan Jenson Face it guy you will never have a 32-inch waistline again and those snug leather jeans will always be hanging in the moth ball hall of fame of your closet we all know you were supposed to be forever motley in the hoopla of an outdoor summerfest but any DNA test would prove your are not the bastard son of Jagger so no longer young dude you’re just going to just have to rock out gracefully like a ballad played by a Led Zeppelin trubute band at a retail convention in Detroit

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Poetry:

Solar Plexus by Jules Archer In that moment of collapse when hearts or guts fall to the floor

It’s always something that cloud nine kind of thing ruby shoes and ecstasy

A little slice of you bubbling up or crestfallen judiciously so

On the bumpy back road she places her hands between her legs an itch she never knew before

She smiles and looks for a place to turn off

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Flipping Out by Shea R. Van Rhoads A flippant remark, slicing through this moment of unprotected intimacy, cautions me.

—Jesus! —Is he here?

The turbulence of an ambivalent passion, the deliberate withholding of a final pleasure, teaches me

—teaches you the same, or something else?

the seriousness of our sport, the depth to which wounds may penetrate when we play with fervor.

Desire lurches forward. Emotions slam against the safety belt.

Relational momentum shifts, as every impulse reconsiders and our entire, gyrating world slows.

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Your Soul’s on Fire

photography Tawfick Espriella stylist Stefanie Del Papa makeup and hair Josue Rafuls model Jessica @ Wilhelmina


top Halston Heritage panties La Fee Verte vintage shoes Charles Jourdan


silk cardigan Just Cavalli


vintage blouseVivienne Westwood


shoes Sam Edelman


top Valentino vintage shorts sunglasses Sabre vintage shoes Charles Jourdan


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Fiction:

The Sea Books by Chris Bird They washed up on the shore in the early spring morning unseen and uninvited. At first there were only four or five moving on the brisk waves. Riding the white water they landed on the level brown sand like massive shells from the ocean floor. Then each day the numbers increased, left in clusters on the sand by the ebb and flow of the sea. Soon people came from the nearby village to see. The books came every day, sometimes embedded with starfish and seahorses or shells and glossy seas tones and pebbles dredged up by the tide. The words, blurred by the sea often slipped out of the hard covers and drifted across the sea’s surface into rock pools spelling out intricate new meanings. The fishermen dragged the increasing piles of books in from the sea and stacked them along the beach and the rocks. The village priest came to inspect them for sacrilegious content but went away disappointed when he found none. A retired general dug a shallow trench near the books under a flapping national flag. However he couldn’t decide on any further military response. He persuaded two volunteers to stand sentry on the beach head to monitor the incursions. Local politicians made committed speeches both in favour and against the crowding piles of books. As the numbers increased further the villagers noticed that the covers of the books were etched with strange symbols such as stars, moon crescents, sea snakes, spiders, keys, domes, ladders and random numbers and letters. When they opened the individual books the words poured from the pages and drained away before their eyes. One inventive villager requisitioned a great pile of the books and made a bonfire of them. He and his children watched the crackling words rise on the flames floating amongst white ash up into the night sky. But as the numbers continued to increase the night grew gradually darker. The villagers noticed that there were far fewer stars in the sky each night. The night sky became an empty blackness over the thatched roofs of the village where once there had been shimmering constellations. Divisions between the villagers as to how best to respond to the gathering deluge of books created hither to unknown social tension in the village. A number of new political parties were soon formed. Soon two principal factions solidified. One group argued that the books should be dumped into an open pit and then burnt using gasoline. Their opponents wanted to construct an enormous monument in adoration of the sea’s unsolicited gift. The gradual loss of the stars intensified the crisis. One faction, in an attempt to blame their opposition for the loss of the stars wore large star shaped emblems as masks in night time rallies beside the shore. Another faction draped themselves with symbolic wooden flames painted

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orange and gold. The small community took to segregating themselves on either side of a village dividing line known as the ‘Sea Word Wall’. Then as the crisis smouldered on the books on the shore began to rot. A great stench rose up from them and a slimy grey green moss began to crawl over them forming hill like mounds on the beach. The ‘New Sea Hills’, as they became known, swarmed with flies and mosquitoes and the stench swayed over the entire village. A group of young men rolled a stone boulder down the cliff to break up the nauseous mounds of books. Another gang shot fireworks down at the slimy mass to burn it away. Crabs and sea insects burrowed into the decomposing words to build new homes. Gulls and herons nested on the green mounds. The sea began to wash over the massive hills as if trying to reclaim it. Local politicians tried to get control of the crisis by inserting national flags and party banners into the mounds. This, they argued, would prevent them from being annexed by unscrupulous foreign powers. The village priest hurriedly added crucifixes and icons and expressed hopes of an ornamental bell tower on the highest mound. An artist described his aim to re colour the green mass blue as a symbolic tribute to the book’s original source. Certain extremists were held responsible for a small explosion on one of the mossy peaks. But the plans of the disparate groups were soon overshadowed as first one child and then another fell seriously ill. The illness spread rapidly from family to family. The children fell ill with a flu-like virus which quickly became more serious. Within a few days the children fell into a deep sleep which continued uninterrupted day after day. Later strange boils grew on the children’s fingertips and tongues. The boils only grew on these particular points. The village doctor was bemused and could find no cure. Over seventy children fell ill. All slept soundlessly while their fingertips and tongues throbbed red. Mothers kept each other awake in the early hours with their tears and sobbing. Fishermen hauled a wide net over part of the mass and tried to drag it back into the sea with a flotilla of fishing boats. But their attempt came to nothing. The books could not be shifted. Spring soon turned to summer and the rotting stench of the books intensified. Flies swarmed incessantly over the putrid mounds.

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There seemed to be no end to the villagers suffering. At night as they decomposed, distorted echoes of words moaned and wailed out across the village’s thatched rooftops. No one could ignore the strange sounds and no one could sleep through the long summer nights. One frail old man lost his senses and leapt from a cliff top into the mounds where crutches and all he sank slowly from view. The sea gulls called and sang in ecstatic loops of flight over the ‘New Sea Hills’, peeling away to dive at isolated crabs amongst the decaying words. The sea rolled back and forth and the long summer days were tainted by the acrid smell of the books. Crabs grew fat on the digest of words, hornets and mosquitoes saturated the moss with countless eggs. But the news of the village children was not good. As the fingertips and tongues reddened further single words grew from the blemishes and wounds. Their injuries spelt out new cryptic sentences. No boats left in the early morning to fish. The fishing nets were overrun and clogged with decaying words. The word mass gradually began to seep over the cliff tops and spread along the narrow village streets. Families had to move to higher ground around the village church. The children passed away one by one and were laid in the cemetery ground. Wrapped in cotton shrouds their injuries poured open with contrived obscenities and blasphemies. From their graves strange purple flowers grew, each petal of which contained a word or message. The priest himself could take no more and was found dangling from a noose from the highest church beam in a mossy rope he had made from the sea hills. The local militia having peppered the mounds with cannon balls and grenades to no avail mutinied in despair and ran in ragged uniforms into the sea. The disease then spread from child to mother and then to father. Wreaths, lilies and poppies adorned the silent doorways of the village houses. Superstition led to the building of a huge straw man which was torched and then pushed from a cliff top down onto the mass of words. The straw man burnt in gold and amber flames on the mass of words. Then as the morning sun glowed over the half empty village the mass began to shift and stir. Gradually the mass of words began to harden. A week later it had solidified even further. The mossy appearance gave way to a new stone like hardness. A month passed by and slowly cracks and splits appeared on the surface of the stony word hills. The cracks only appeared at night and only on nights when the moon glowed strongly onto the beach. One night a few villagers crawled to the edge of a cliff top and with binoculars and telescopes observed the cracks and openings widening noticeably. For another week the mass crackled and shifted, tearing here and there in jagged moonlit openings. Then one night, watched by a small group of fishermen, the mass split into two enormous boulders, one of which crashed into the rough night sea. The two huge boulders began to crack and groan. Slowly new cracks opened up on the surfaces of the two boulders. Through the moonlit night these cracks opened further and further until suddenly the two boulders simultaneously split apart. From inside stepped two gigantic figures, naked and covered with seaweed and shells. The figures slowly stood on the sand, stretching and yawning. Their skin was almost transparent in the silvery moonlight.

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Together the giant man and woman walked out toward the sea. Their bodies shone and beneath the pale surface of their skin crawling one over the other were thousands upon thousands of words, linking and splitting, fusing and diverging in endless shifting patterns shimmering in the summer moonlight.

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Miniature de Nuit photography and model Ying Wang


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Fiction:

Incubator by Karley Bayer The popping sound of darts meeting balloons was like an irregular heartbeat to Stefanie Mayne. The petite brunette stood in the darkness between the red and yellow striped canvas game stalls, and watched as that heartbeat startled high-strung passersby. The sound, which barely registered to her, made these stay-at-home mommies jump right out of their creamy white skin. The daddies, with their pride-and-joy hoisted upon their shoulders, pretended not to pay attention to the teenaged girls in their tank tops. Every once in a while, Stefanie would slink out of the shadows, nimbly falling in step behind one of these distracted daddies, or mommies bent over a cotton-candy-covered pixie, and slip her thin fingers into a back pocket or gaping diaper bag, returning to the overlooked nooks with her newly acquired wallets and change purses. Come morning, she could sell the credit cards. The cash money she would keep. The coins were passed on to appreciative children trying to throw ping pong balls into fishbowls. Another game, on me. In the corner of her eye, Stefanie could see the lights of the Scrambler making tracers in the night. The grinding of the gears providing a white noise that most carnival goers would dismiss, but which subconsciously provided an air of danger. As she was tracking her next target, Stefanie sensed Warren seconds before she felt his left hand travel the length of her spine. His right hand slid around her expanding torso, offering a cheap clear plastic cup of whatever was on tap. Stefanie drank the brew. It was not her first of the evening. Not near to her last. Warren lit a cigarette, joining her in watching the crowds. “You see that one? Red shirt, with the sleeves ripped off? Big cargo shorts?” Stefanie didn’t even put down her beer. She could do this trick with one hand tied behind her back. This wasn’t the only trick she could do with one hand. At 25-years-old, Stefanie had spent about 25-years traveling with this carnival/circus. She was a direct bloodline to the infamous Andrew Mayne. She knew how to throw knives, or be the spinning target. She had been shoved in a box and sawed in half thousands of times. When she wasn’t incubating, her wardrobe consisted mostly of tight corsets, high cut leotards and six-inch heels. She didn’t wear the heels when she wasn’t on stage. They tended to get stuck in the ground, making it difficult to move quickly. For her real money making venture, she wore sneakers. “Catch,” she instructed upon her return, tossing the wallet to Warren within the same second. He caught it with his left hand, the one missing two fingers. Warren was responsible for a lot of the heavy lifting and mechanical assembly. He had lost the last two fingers on his hand to a persnickety Ferris Wheel several years ago. He liked to joke that it was some Higher Power’s way of saying that he wasn’t meant for marriage; losing the ring finger that way.

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The carny frowned as he withdrew a twenty and three ones from the billfold. “Sometimes it would be better if these losers had a chain wallet.” Stefanie shrugged. “Those clasps aren’t that hard to undo. A little bump against the guy, rub the tits against him, distract him with a smile…” “I forgot I was talking to the Mistress of Misdirection.” “I’ve got tricks you ain’t ever seen.” “You save them for the paying customers, darlin’.” While Stefanie and Warren had been fucking for some time now, she had not exhausted her bag of tricks on him. She tended to use those tricks on the one-night, she’ll-be-gone-in-the-morning, cheaters. Give them a little something to remember, something to feel guilty about for the rest of their lives. She told them she was practicing her sword swallowing skills. These men were lucky she never meant to carry their seed to term. Stefanie downed the rest of her beer and nodded in silent greeting to Jeremy, the Smurf, as he squeezed past Stefanie and Warren, on his way to the cages against the Big Top Tent. When Jeremy didn’t return the greeting at all, Stefanie turned to Warren and asked, “What’s up with him?” Warren waited until the tiny, blue-tattooed covered man was out of earshot before answering. “Clara left him for some biker last night.” “The Fortune Teller quit?!” Warren rolled his eyes. “Not necessarily quit. She just didn’t show up at her booth this afternoon. Where you been?” “Otherwise engaged.” “You mean, on The Nod.” Stefanie flipped him off. Currently, she was on a strict diet of beer, whiskey, cigarettes and smack. She wasn’t doing a lot of stage work. Soon she would go see the man with the vacuum. He would take her creation from her body and put it in a jar. Stefanie specialized in a unique, more elite form, of the pickled punk. The punks she created weren’t sewn together from monkeys or unspecified animal parts. Her punks came out looking like that without the assistance of needle and thread. All those things that legit doctors told pregnant women not to do while they were pregnant; Stefanie did them. She ate lunchmeat and soft cheeses; she didn’t take vitamins. Sometimes she didn’t even need the vacuum. Sometimes the little creatures made their debuts without any help. She knew the signs when they were going to make an appearance ahead of schedule. A bit of cramping, some bleeding, better get the jar ready. Warren was the current sperm donor of Stefanie’s current project. He had been around a while and hadn’t had a clash of sudden morals or conscious once he had done his job. He had stuck around for the past three or four creations. Not all of them made it out alive. Actually, so far, he only knew of the one. “Bring the stroller,” she instructed, nodding her head at the contraption resting near the generator that ran the electricity for the water gun horse race stall.

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Warren grabbed the handle of the stroller, pulling it over grassy patches and gravel, violently shaking a silent baby with an overly large head and a third nub of an arm tucked inside his onesie. Drooper, the baby, smiled at the lights and strangers. The scent of stale beer, sweat, and fried dough was the comforting scent of his childhood. It was one of those beautiful summer nights. Just humid enough to make the clothing stick to the flesh. When the customers returned home tonight, their lovely evenings would be capped off with the perfect kiss of the air conditioner, or box fan. Stefanie and Warren would go back to their trailer, currently unhooked from Warren’s aging, rusting pick-up, and continue to work on Stefanie’s next project. No, no. A healthy baby just would not do.


Fiction:

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Hog Heaven by Jules Archer She left her husband for the hog. Or maybe it was Carl with his bald head and fat wallet. Carl and his leather jacket with its frayed patches and military pins. He bought her a drink in some roadhouse on the outskirts of the frail town she called a home. Slapped down a hundred dollar bill to buy her a Miller Light. Yelled at the waitress for bringing back Budweiser. They danced to Three Dog Night and when they were done Carl introduced her to his bike. They took a ride and she never came back. Now, her hair tangles in the whipping wind so she cuts it short. Spiky. Carl gets her a leather jacket complete with her own pin. She flips the collar up, laces her boots tight. They follow Carl’s motorcycle club all over the southwest, seeing desert and red rocks. She and Carl stay in cheap motels, lay on soft white sheets next to each other. She dangles fingertips on top of Carl’s open palm. He calls her darlin’ and kisses her with a rough beard. She really can’t be sure why she left. She just knows she did.

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Poetry:

Harmonica by Alexander of Lawrence Ghost riding through the boulevard of untold tales, while engaging memory lane at every toll. Swerving & merging onto the avenues that are found on the crossroads of every floor at the end of every story. Every tile placed accordingly, according to the miss in the dress at the window. She smiles at her reflection possibly envisioning life without walls, only terraces. The terraces of her fascination lead to greener gardens, but only an autumn away from the winds that muse her lovers’ quill. The beneficiary of her bouquet admires her tulips dancing under the track lights of the moons nocturnal might. Dark like soil, the night surrenders before the silhouettes that are entangled with the shadows of their passion. Moans at dawn turn to ricocheting echoes playing “Simon Says” on an orgasmic harmonica. Eyes glistened as flesh conquers flesh while teeth sink like burning battleships at sea. The pupils of a brighter sun found their selves marooned on a body of sensuality, consumed only by the hydration from the sky as the rain washes their lust down the deep channels of reality.

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Fires by Christopher Woods The fire is burning out of control now. The once grand department store simmers with light and heat. Everything - jewelry, candy, glassware, hosiery, ties, kitchen wares, appliances, furs, items in layaway, even the sleeping, burly security guard - melts into a strange chemical cloud that shrouds display cases, obscures the eerie smiles of mannequins, clogs the aisles, floats up the down escalator and rides the elevators where no gloved operators work the controls. She watches from across the street, from her apartment window. Sad because she put in forty long years at the store, beginning as a novitiate in gift wrap and ascending to manager of fine bras. But the sadness leaves, just as the burning building goes away, when she closes her eyes. The heat from the fire still intense on her skin, she is adrift on a raft on a Caribbean island, in a hotel pool at high noon. If she squints a bit, allowing the aura of flames to lick at her vision, she is floating on a bed in a cabana, an island man filling her with heat. It is a problem for her. Always such a faithful store employee, she should rightfully keep a vigil, eyes wide open, and watch the walls of her dear store collapse. But if she does this will make the island man disappear, and much too soon as far as she is concerned. Let it burn, she decides. She pulls the man with dark skin closer to her. She will not open her eyes again. Will not watch the humiliating end of her beloved store. After all, she has been its mistress her entire adult life. Besides, she is starving. She knows that the pizza delivery man, her sometime lover, cannot even dream of coming down the street with the store on fire. If she keeps making love to the island man, she will not think of food. So she keeps her eyes closed, not seeing two hundred firemen down in the street. Fighting the inferno, each of them is wishing he was with the woman he left at home. She does not see the firemen run as the wall facing the street falls outward, into the apartment house itself. So lost in lovemaking, she is not aware how the fire, in its jealousy, angrily climbs the brick facade of her building. How it scours the windows for the right one, where a faithful lover has so cruelly looked away. How the chemical cloud, so full of all things, drifts through the lace curtains of the cabana on its way to a kill.

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Artist profile:

Kris Kuksi Kris Kuksi is an artist based in Kansas. He can be found on the web at www.kuksi.com. LAdM: Do you think you’d ever like to live somewhere else? Would that affect your creativity at all? Kuksi: I guess I am open to living in other places, however, I do travel a lot and I do find inspiration in the places I travel to. Yet, I think it’s best to live in a place conducive to creativity. If I ever did decide to move it would most likely be somewhere in Europe. There is a lot of drama and action going on in your sculptures. Is there a predetermined story line to each piece, or do all the intricacies just come up as you are creating them? Both are true. Some things are very direct, and some things aren’t, but there is an improvised process where things develop as I go, leaving a lot of fun for the viewer to provide their own interpretation. A number of your figures have guns for eyes or tanks for heads. What is the significance of this?

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That refers to how the modern world tends to dehumanize people as if we are trained to be less emotional and less creative much like drones or social servants. It has a bit of a military-like perspective and that those in the service are encouraged to remove their compassionate and emotional side. Why do you think so much violence exists among humans? Is it part of our nature?

Yes, of course it is. That’s probably very evident that evolution does exist. We aren’t quite the elevated, pure beings that we think we are. However, what’s really interesting is that we are aware of how to be non-violent. What message do you hope viewers get from your work? Just to have a new perspective on the human condition, to help come to terms with our faults and our respon-

“...that’s one of the reasons why I make art–to inspire others.”


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The Retreat of Daphne

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40 Erot at Play

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“...the modern world tends to dehumanize people...”

sibilities, and in the end, to inspire in many change for the better. Are the drawings and paintings still something you are actively creating or has your attention totally gone towards the sculptures? In the last few years there has been a focus on the sculptures, however I still paint and draw when I’m inspired to. Presently, there is much more demand for my sculptural works. Designer Iris van Herpen included you in her current show at the Centraal Mu-

seum as a major inspiration. How does it feel to know you inspire other artists? Yes, that’s one of the reasons why I make art--to inspire others. IT IS great to be acknowledged by those who have been inspired. And the same goes for Iris’s inspiring creations as well. It’s just a part of my purpose in life that includes enlightening and challenging people’s beliefs. Who/what inspires you? Baroque architecture, modern industrial structures, human psychology and behavior, and certain forms of music.

What do you dream about at night? Every now and then I have a very dramatic and emotional dream. I’ll sit and analyze it for a few days afterwards, but I find that it always seems to coincide with certain things going on in my life. So, maybe dreams are a form of selfanalysis. What was the last book you read? Area 51-- I just loved reading about top secret experimental aircrafts and the possible UFOs being worked on in a secluded area in Nevada.


42 An Opera for the Apocalypse

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(detail)

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The Temptation of St. Anthony

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title here

“We aren’t quite the elevated, pure beings that we think we are.”

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46 Eden

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L’Allure des Mots Ode to Herculaneum

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48 Oedipus in Contemplation

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Pluto and Persephone

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(detail)

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The Plague Parade: Opus 2


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Fiction:

Unrequited Love by Christy Leigh Stewart This is the most committed relationship of my life. The longest. The most meaningful. The most complex. The most rewarding and the most frustrating. The woman I love is everything to me. She has seen me at my best and worst, and her love and support has never faltered. She loves who I have been, who I am, and who I’ll become; this I know more clearly than anything else. I have seen other men come in and out of her life, just as she has seen other women come in and out of mine. No matter what thrill or crushing sorrow we have experienced with other people can compare to what we share. I cannot love anyone as much as I love her and when I hate her, I hate her more than feels humanly possible. Despite all that, I would give anything and everything to be with her, and I can’t. I know she feels the same about me as I do her. I can feel it when she holds me. When she kisses me. When she tells me I am the center of the universe. And yet, she wont give herself completely to me. She bars me from that beautiful and erotic side of her, even as she flaunts it. That just adds to my desperation to have her. To touch her, lick her. Fuck her. I dream of being inside of her. Drinking her juices until she is bone dry. Kissing my seed from her lips. The woman who wants the best for me would let me suffer the loss of having her completely. In every way. Just because she is my mother.

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Fiction:

Loneliest Thrill by Parisa Vaziri She sits on a plinth, eyeing the flood of empty Pepsi bottles creeping over the cracked earth, sticky brown residue clumping the dirt. The tractor’s metal claw cups mounds of plastic Yoplait containers, flavors strawberry banana, rum and pear. Janine places an elbow on a knee, wide brown gaze coaxed down by gravity, its melancholy, its charm. She waits. Another Caterpillar howls as it swoops for a styrofoam sea. Since six they’ve been working, the pious machines, wearing out their oilthirsty joints carrying the gallons, the gallons. At night in the yard their lined up yellow crowns lower in prayer toward a vacant moon. He had brought her there last fourth of July. Alone with the overflowing dumpsters and smoky afterscent of firecrackers, he’d said “I love you” for the hundred thousandth time, weathering the phrase as he does, saying it and saying it and saying it, as if eventually he might reel her into him with the sheer pledge of repetition—a puerile hope grown arrogant with time. In the car, under the crackles of reds and greens and golds bedizening the heatstricken sky (caught between celebration and gloom, for a couple falling buzzards chequer each year the memory of colonial dislodgement) he had slid his salty tongue between her thin pink lips. She’d grown suddenly sad, seeing visions of her clay-skinned Momma home alone with all those vials of Alprozalam pellets, bloodstream lachrymose, Lola coiled up thin and milkthirsty on the dusty lemonwood chest. Hungry, she sighs into the metal maelstrom, taking in shallow breaths of the sultry polyethylene-infused air. “Looks like we got one more comin’ in. Jerk don’t know the fill closes at three,” John mumbles, bending over the grousers, the chrome. Janine lifts an elbow off a knee, stretches her arm toward the bald pink sky, challenging its slumber-portent yawn with her own, wider, less interested one. “I’m tired,” she thinks. She thinks, “You promised me a cone.” She wraps a band of glossy red hair around her finger, twirling it now this way, now that. Time broils, gelding her on her slab of stone. The habit of twirling, unfurling her hair has been with her for so many years now, touch too now escapes her. The world has begun to yield to the insensate exterior of hands leathered with memory, no longer piquing her through her fingertips as it once did with its myriad textures, its seashells, its treebarks, its cold creams whose newness belong only to the newness of childhood. A series of ripped-up family photographs taken at a summer barbeque, a crumpled letter, a litter of cereal box top cutouts someone has meant to send in the mail gurgle below waves of less recognizable rubbish. Beer caps and soiled diapers, congealed ziti and melting Crest tubes steam together under a neutral sun, cooking in the seasonable heat. Janine hears her stomach among the rumbling of the tractors, comforted by the opportunity to judge something, even if only the irreverent moans of her digestive fluids. “Those full? ” John yells, approaching a parked van. A man is carrying cans out of the back of his truck. John hurls his voice over the boister of the tractors with the precision of someone

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who has grown up with noise, someone who has been raised with the Cold Planers and Knucklebooms, Pipelayers and Bunchers, someone who has dawn after dawn after dawn held a callused palm to his left breast, swearing allegiance to each inch of the sun’s schizophrenia. “You gotta dry out the cans if they’re full. Take ‘em to the HHW. Township says we can’t have the oil-based stuff leaking on the roads.” The man ignores him, walks back to his U-Haul truck and slams the door. Janine’s expression remains poised, a sheen over her upper lip conferring with the ripe August. Her eyes remain furrowed somewhere beyond the men, dazed in the democracy of colored plastic and mud-caked metal limbs slicing the air at esoteric angles. “Household hazardous waste collection!” John yells, perking to the syllabic cluster, of feeling it roll off his tongue into the smug virility of his voice. The tumid beads quiver and burst, streaming and burying brine into her heart-shaped cheeks. The truck veers off. As if on cue, an old computer tumbles down from a mound of trash. Janine stares at the humiliated motherboard shattered near her dangling feet, its north and south bridges bearing an unconscionable separation, sockets stunned, wires hanging, lightly grazing the dirt. In the yard, the tips, the welded blades continue to bury last week’s plastic with otherworldly care, compressing the town’s indestructible feces under discreet layers of soil, inhaling small melancholies as they submit to compaction density formulas. “Bastard,” John mumbles after the retreating van, returning to the post to change, worsted by something larger than the heat.

*

“Rubbish i’nt somthin’ to think of, darling,” Momma had said a year earlier when she’d started dating John. Janine had tried to describe what it was like to see all the garbage piled out there on the land like that, like an ingrown hill of everyone’s soiled underwear. She’d thought if the whole town could just stand there around the fill looking at all their trash pressed into each other’s that way, if they could see it—the violent anonymity of it all, a torn up pair of Nikes doused in dinner’s bloody entrails, next to a dozen empty pill vials and some teenager’s darksoaked maxi pad, the spread of human waste would brim with silence. She didn’t know why that kind of silence attracted her. She didn’t even know what that kind of silence was. “Rubbish i’nt somthin’ to think of darling,” Momma had repeated, leaning her curved spine back into her tattered maroon armchair, looking to her TV set for a consenting nod. In any case, it was a responsible type of boy, one who sorted people’s garbage for a living. Most men didn’t know a thing about their dumps. They didn’t know you couldn’t just bring the paint like that,

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brimming oily to the tin rims with the solvents and the resins at three pm on a Friday when they should be closing early, as John points out in the car. There are certainly yellowing living room walls which could have made use of those leftovers, just a coat of it, he adds, as if she doesn’t notice he might be talking about the living room in her Momma’s house. Their first date he’d picked her up in his truck and taken her to the restaurant on LaRousse Street with the green awnings and the outdoor patio tables, but it had been crowded with middle-aged women clinking ice in dimming mint-muddled mirth, so they’d had to compromise for the McDonald’s down the block, the one with the gold-themed corridors and indoor playground for the children. After a long study of the board above the cashier’s impatient cap she’d ordered a fish sandwich with no mayo and a side salad with raspberry vinaigrette and chosen the booth at the very back near the restrooms, the one tucked under the large gold mirror on the wall. Janine liked the mirrors there, liked to watch herself chew. It was always ugly, an eating head, jaw chucking up and down, but she felt better when she could keep watch over her face, could tame the movement of her doughcake cheeks with the forced elegance of a ballerina’s calf, with an adagio that hurt, a stymied rhythm that missed altogether the flavors of her breaded cod’s cousin—generic and unsavory as they were. They’d sat on the same side of the booth. John had been staring at the mirror the whole time, but she knew his eyes weren’t watching her. With one hand she’d been fingering a small tear in the red-vinyled cushion of her seat, her bare thighs suctioned into the warm plastic. With the other she’d held the pinstriped straw staked into the opaque lid of her diet Sunkist, squeezing the straw’s hard middle after each sip, overtaken by a vaporous anxiety that couldn’t be seen in the mirror, but felt pressing down on the opening of her small intestine. “Watch,” John had said, nodding to the mirror. Behind their booth a family of four was taking synchronic bites into their moist hamburger buns, yellow cheese dangling off the pillowy sides. They were silent as sharks, even the little one, excitedly fishing pearls out of his cardboard seaworld. When they were finished with their food, the father had crumpled four silver hamburger wrappers together and stuffed them into the empty French fry cartons, along with a few untouched ketchup packets, gnawed straws, a stack of wrinkled napkins, some with brown stains, some still white, and stood up to feed their supper’s indiscretion to the swinging mouth of the trash bin—like a compliant wooden mail post, Thank You engraved across its maw. The man had put a hand on his overhanging middle, a private signal to the rest of the clan to shuffle out and follow, absolving themselves in the innocence of familial routine. John had nudged Janine as the youngest trailed behind, vroom vrooming his motorcycle’s silver spinning wheels in the air. “I don’t get what’s so funny” Janine had said, annoyed, suspecting a drop of mayo polluting her small piece of Pollock—caught in the meshes of some midwater trawl she didn’t know where or in what sea of time. John put a hand on her thigh, taking his opportunity to touch her skin. “Nothin’ babe,” he’d said, undampened by her mood. The familiar regret of nearing the end of a meal was gelling Janine’s thoughts a greenish brown substance much the way her pepsin must have been churning the ground fishmeat and lettuce somewhere under her loose-fitting tee shirt,

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a variation on beige. And then she’d become suddenly angry that she was too pretty for him, she’d become angry that she didn’t like him touching her thigh, because she wanted to want him to, and she didn’t hide her annoyance, the way she was always hiding everything else.

*

They list shoulderblades against opposite sides of the truck in stiff symmetry, John fingering the knobs in hunt of sound to satiate the post-supper hunger between them, she fingering the chain across her neck with one hand, nursing her slightly distended stomach with an other, uneasy palm. “I love you babe,” he says, appeasing the audacious rumble of silence, impenetrable and bottomless as it is, hooking his arm around her neck as he parks beside her mother’s lawn—mustard crusted, spotted with lion’s teeth. She mulls over the endless caloric possibilities in her now digested fish sandwich. She palms the sides of her waist and feels betrayed. And the silence lingers. “We’re having guests over tomorrow. I need to help Momma clean up,” she says after a moment, relieved by the facility of her own lie. She releases a red tangle from her hand, shifting in her seat before he can remember to touch her for too long. Two hundred thirty, she counts, three hundred, four hundred, six hundred, seven fifty. For a long time now, stopping has not been simple. A Lucille Roberts bass emanates from inside the mangy parlor. She hears it even before she enters, through tears in the screen nibbled over the years by the gnats. “For twenty dollars a month…” Janine presses a button. Neon green spills across the bottom of the screen, then absconds just as listlessly, one line dying across the next. The air weighs heavy and stiff, dank with animal fur and tobacco, but she barely registers the change. Lola is perched on the kitchen counter near the dried tomato sauce-gilded tupperware, Momma dreaming off in her armchair, riding the octaval range of some gameshow host’s ebullience—inviolable the two dormant creatures in their doze. Humidity seeps in through the cracks in the windows above the stockpiled sink where Janine rinses a bowl, skimping on the last drops of dish detergent. Instinctively, or simply out of the sheer repetition of habit, she treats herself to a small portion of whole milk and Chocolate O’s. Just this little bit, she promises herself. She’s not hungry, but the food is an adequate glass of red wine, deadening the distinct flavors of her diurnal sobriety. Above her vanity the mirror watches her as she enters the bedroom. Looking into it is like being bitten. Something has been sneaking through her bedroom window night after night and injecting a hard lardlike substance under this skin, stealthily bloating her symmetry, pulling each side of her hips toward opposing directions in space. Janine spoons her milksoaked cereal into her mouth, lets it stew on her soft palate, the familiar textures allaying her tongue and sotting the emotion smeared along the inner lining of her nostrils. Nine hundred ninety calories; a neverending game. The mirror looks away as Janine’s spoon hits the barren

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concave of her melamine bowl, the dying particles of wheat starch and beet powder, yellow number five disintegrating into new oblivions. She is veering slowly toward a familiar nausea that has come to associate itself with night. Her bowl is empty. Janine carries the box of Chocolate O’s back to her bedroom, where she pours the rest of the now crumbly brown mixture of rice and oat bran into a final puddle, shoving it between her two rows of teeth, quickening her chew until the rhythm takes her over and she no longer tastes the alkaline-processed cocoa or fear. In distant fields of her mind, something far more whelming than the bolus of saliva, ground cornmeal and sugar crystallizes, something like Sonny the Cuckoo’s ecstatic cardboard smile, some region of celestial intimacy she has never, will never, achieve with John. She wants to love him, she wants to love someone, herself, to create something new there, something like love to occupy her—buried all alone in her flesh as she is. She chews quicker. The morsels, the fluids that drizzle down her esophagus plunge deep into her stomach, stimulating her liquids, bile, traveling down like a wave of outer space through her small intestine. Janine is out of O’s. In a somnambular state, for she has developed an addiction to the quick and constant movement inside her chest, she creeps back to the kitchen. In the refrigerator she finds a half-eaten Yoplait container of soured yogurt, no longer a flavor deserving of its name, old cheese and a Tupperware full of lasagna. The freezer door holds itself open for her as she dips a fork into a carton of dense brown cookie-dough spotted cream, spooning it onto her tongue. She holds it out, the interior now half-melted. Her taste buds grouse for balance, salt. In a cupboard she finds a halffull canister of Planter’s, stale roasted cashews, peanuts, pecans, brazils. She has needed something, hard and brittle as tinder to accompany the ever-quickening rhythm falling on her incisors— accelerando—and now she interjects here and there with a small rest, a silence of soft cold cream, parsing out the relief of the sugary cold on her tongue’s buds. The cardboard is sogged. She gropes the salty floor of tin, feeling cheated by the charming peanut shell winking at her in his tall trilby, his safe black-rimmed spectacles. Her stomach expands with moan. Except for two small wefts of dirt on the balls and heels of both feet her soles are clean; bent down on her knees in front of the refrigerator, her eyes absently probing the mildewed shelves, her fingers dip into a jar of old peanut butter. She licks them clean. Becoming frantic, sensing something moribund and grey happening inside her cecum, she swings open the rest of the cupboards on their hinges, standing on tiptoe to see that no piece of prey cowers from view. There is nothing new, nothing but a stale half loaf of sliced wonder bread and crusted boîte of beeswax honey, preserved under dubious temperatures. She whisks the items off their shelves, pulse quickening, pulling the knobs of the drawers she has also pillaged numerous times the night before. Out of spontaneous glee, an impulse for sharpness, she steals the small wedge of cheddar from its seat within the inner ear of the refrigerator, where an entire bar of butter has lain the night before. She briefly tastes the memory of that butter, melted in the microwave and doused over bowl after bowl of Chocolate O’s—the first half of the box. Now it begins to throb everywhere, in her ears lobes, behind her eyes, her glands, every pore of her skin needs something. She slices off a hunk of cheese, lays it on a stiff piece of bread and drizzles it with honey, placing it on her tongue, where it

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will disappear into her, later rising in painful heaves, ecstatic, cataclysmic, rancid as cold lemon pulp and spoilt milk. Yes, over a porcelain throne gurgling with microbes, she will tell her story again, the same noisome, plotless story, bellowing into the sewer and reclaiming her throat in throes—God that she is, wasteful and broken as thunder. The confused afterhum of the toilet confirms her inevitable swim toward the sea. Momma snores, the amused orange tipped tail ascends, lands, recoils under the flickering image of glistening olive bellies, synchronized karate kicks. Drunk with sugar and fat, having abandoned her senses along a familiar but deserted region of death, Janine is incapable of intuiting the eyes probing the wire-meshed holes, the loud knock, the creak, the encroaching boot vibrations. Sweating and blood rushed, a daub of warm honey smeared across the right side of her head, she looks up: a startled fawn recognizing only the brightness of light. He stops in the doorway, letting in the moon, letting it leak onto the pallid pink carpet, creating a semi-permanent pool upon dust. “You left this in the car,” he says, approaching with a closed fist. Wraithlike, she lacks a trembling nerve. “Door was open,” he continues. Something is not well, he suddenly senses, something is not well. He notices the blank cartoon faces cluttered across the wasteland of the kitchen counter, eyeing each other in loud cardboard tones no more or less animated than usual: gums, crumbs, milk beads dotting the scene. “Seems like someone was still hungry,” he says after a moment, seeing her, not sure himself why he must force his smile. He waits for a sound from that body across the room, tranced as it is inside the lunar candescence. Then he moves back, leaving the necklace tangled on the black plastic skull of the television, under which Lola parts her sleepy eyelids, having been sole witness to the crimes of the night. Momma wakes herself with a bumptious snore, is comforted by the low din of the television, falls back asleep. “I Gotta be up at five,” he says, taking another step back. “New day…new trash.” The screen screeches as John swings it back open, satisfying the moon with another voyeuristic peer, letting it spill, letting it spill. “See you tomorrow?” he adds, stepping out, deciding at the last moment not to look back.

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Alice

photography Sam Beasley makeup and hair Agi Brown model Alice @ Icon


all clothes model’s own


Artist profile:


An Interview with Jacques de Beaufort We spent the day with painter Jacques de Beaufort. After reading us excerpts of George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides, he spoke to a spirit that appeaed in a dark corner...

(click) 12 mins. 33 secs. Will open in new window.


72 Narcissus

“…the idea of looking and seeing is the same thing as existing.”

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If You Would Strike (Strike Through the Mask)

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74 The Hand of God

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76 (untitled)

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L’Allure des Mots Apophis

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78 The Cloud of Unknowing

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L’Allure des Mots (untitled)

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80

“If you move people, you’re going to end up disturbing them.”

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81

Moral Panic Floods the Wilderness


82 Joy Division Descending

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“We’re trying to reconcile the great beauty in the world with all of the darkness that surrounds us.”

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Section:

10

Title by body copy

L’Allure des Mots || Summer, 2011 || Issue No. 1

L'Allure des Mots Issue 3  

L'Allure des Mots Issue 3