#3 Volume 1 Fall/Winter 2011
Collected Works of the Secret Society for Creative Anonymity
“Tread lightly, stomp loudly.” -B.B.
Posthaste Quarterly Available Online www.posthastequarterly.blogspot.com www.issuu.com/posthastequarterly Editor Farrington Ektigon Publisher Carnegie Ozwald Business Office P.O. Box 1457 Milledgeville, GA 31059 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Edgemaker Cover image by Barley Boeman
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The Secret Society for Creative Anonymity
Stellar Antbear Grenadine Apocalypse Barley Boeman Penny Dreadful Grave Ida Flynn Her Gart ll-ll-ll Ray Maidenhair Marci Masker Adeline V. Proof Terence Quibble J.A. Rook Halls Voice
Table of Contents
Locomotive Agonists 605 Everywhere but Here To Lovers, Plying Their Wares Root Cellar Soup Platform Old Enough to Know Stars-Stacked Like Spiders Seahorse Flannel Shirt How to Deal with Death Untitled The Flying Teapot Thin Air Word Repetition remember Paper Walls
â€œLocomotive Agonistsâ€? -Her Gart â€Śto make the machine which kills her I. a sterile rasping whistle bursts forth suddenly from stacks clamoring by. my throat heaves forth in acknowledgement of those utterances, guttural and dry, captured and sustained by vacant droplets of air. the tolling of the locomotive agonistes rumbles deep within, betrays me, and announces
its escape but stops before blinking lights and teeth. the human engine waits my steel consciousness chugs on fare forward fare forward fare forward forward forward forward… II. you who with dirty cheeks and shovels of sweat agitate and incinerate the dust and embers,
you who force the parched cry of surrenderâ€“ drive your rails through me, let me combust with boiling coal, turn to ash, and take flight into the openness of a steaming atmosphere alive broken and burning.
“Walking along the sidewalk raining. It didn’t have the time or day. It didn’t have the present of mind. It was a sitting shotgun, a son-of-a-gun scapegoat lord-a leaping. Three’s a crowd, and its number was up. The couple smiling walked by. Slapwet hurry, eyesearch to eyesearch; uncomfortable man, uncomfortable woman. Victory.” -B.B.
Ray Maidenhair - 605 Everywhere but Here
“To Lovers, Plying Their Wares” -Terence Quibble When holding hands and cracking jokes my roommates stalk downstairs, I bury my head in heavy books and make do not to care. They put on Mozart, comb the fridge, upon the stove plop pans; they cast no eyes to the place where I sit quiet, pen in hand. And once they’ve toasted bread and filled a rich and loving cup, they sit to eat with “Oohs” and “Ahs” and butter each other up. They think they’re clever, subtle, sweet, so very cool and cutesy. I’ve never seen such clumsy stuff as their attempt at footsie. The meal is done, the dishes done, they sit to read the mail. I think I’ve made a great escape, and then it goes to hell. “I’ve got dessert right here,” one says; a hand falls to a lap. I shut the book and, thundering, shout, “Y’all have a room for that!” Then down I fling my tattered heart and storm forth from the house and leave them dazed to wonder what disturbed so still a mouse.
And while they work the question out, I walk down to the curb and, slipping a cig to wily lips, I strike a match and smirk. It isn’t that I really mind or find myself too lonely; it’s just I can’t resist the urge to act a bit curmudgeonly.
Grave Ida Flynn’s
Root Cellar Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced 2 teaspoons salt 3 leeks, white and light green parts in ½ inch slices 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into ½ inch slices 6 new potatoes, thinly sliced 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, halved and thinly sliced 6 cups vegetable broth 8 oz dark ale 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 tablespoons fresh dill black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until just turning brown - about 20 minutes. Add leeks and cook an additional 10 minutes until leeks are soft. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve with a crusty French bread.
â€œFear is largely consensual.â€? -B.B.
ll-ll-ll - Platform
Old Enough to Know Halls Voice
They always rode in silence back to the neighborhood where Joshua grew up; a drab, uniform circle of housing units, standing in rows, one after another. On summer days, the concrete yards in front of each doorstep baked hot enough to burn the bare, dirty feet of neighborhood children, hot enough that the smell of concrete and tar was pervasive. But now, the sun was setting and there was only the smell of pavement wet by leaking hoses and ozone from the buzzing electrical towers that flanked the buildings. His father dropped him off and sped away before he barely had the storm door open, but Joshua had known he wouldn’t come in. He closed the door carefully, without letting it slam, in case his mother was in a mood. He walked inside the dim kitchen and sniffed the air. Smoke snaked around his mother’s head in lazy curls. The tip of her cigarette danced in gloom, and burned brighter orange as she took a drag. “Did you see your brother?” “No.” “Did he say he wanted to come home?” “I didn’t see him.” She flicked her ashes into a Coke can that sat on the table. “Well, come give your mother a hug.”
The short, thickly-built eleven-year-old embraced his mother and could smell the rum that she had mixed in with her Coke. He turned and, with his sleeve, swept up the ashes that had spilled onto the table. “What the fuck, Joshua, you’re going to ruin your shirt!” He turned on the faucet in the kitchen sink and let the water run over his sleeve. He put a glass under the tap and took a drink. “So where is he?” “I didn’t see him.” “I asked you where he was.” “I think Andrea took him to her cousin’s pool party.” At this, his mother’s face reddened, and she put out her cigarette on the side of the Coke can. “Get to bed. Now,” she spat. Abruptly, she pushed her chair back and left the kitchen. He heard her bedroom door slam in the hallway. Later, Joshua lay in bed with his ankles crossed and his hands on his chest. He slept like this often, out of habit, with his hand over his heart. It was comforting, maybe, to think there was a mutual agreement of which he was unaware: his hands protecting his heart and his heart sending blood to his hands. Day and night. He thought about his little brother as he had seen him that day. Noah was shaping up to look exactly like his older brother. The chubby six-year-old had shiny, dark brown hair and large, dark eyes. One of his baby teeth had fallen out
recently and when he concentrated on something his mouth moved as his tongue worked the gap. Noah was also a slow learner. It took him a very long time to learn to crawl, and then to walk, and at six, he spoke very few works. “Mom?” He had said when he saw Joshua. “You want to see Mom, Noah?” Noah’s big eyes were as dark as bruises as he looked at his brother. Joshua saw his mouth working but he didn’t answer. He turned back to his television show. “Cartoon Network keeps him occupied for hours,” Andrea said. “I told your father we should dress him as the Pokeyman for Halloween.” “Yeah, I bet…” Joshua started but was interrupted as his brother made a low noise under his breath. He turned to see Noah with the remote control in his chubby fist. The cable had gone out. “Fuck,” said Noah. Then, louder: “FUCK!” He began to hit the remote control against his forehead. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” “Noah,” Joshua took a step toward him, and his brother turned and threw the remote control in his direction. “Fuck, Josh,” he said. He looked at this brother with wounded, reproachful eyes. “Fuck, Josh. Fuck, Josh.” Now, as Joshua lay in bed, he thought of the sound of his
little brother crying. He had cried all afternoon, but said little else. Joshua suddenly realized he could hear something else: breathing. In his doorway. He sat up in the dark with a start. “I love you so much, sweetheart,” came the disembodied whisper from the black rectangle of the doorframe. His heart sped up. His mother emerged from the dark hallway and crossed the room to his bed. “I love you both so much.” She sat down next to him. Her breath smelled awful, like she had been drinking and crying all evening. She put her arms around and pulled him close, rocking him in a prolonged hug. He felt disgusted, then felt badly for feeling disgusted. It made him really sad to think about hurting her feelings, but right now, he didn’t want to hug her. He didn’t even want her near him. “I’ll be right back,” she said quietly. She sounded both serious and jubilant, as if she had just solved a very grave, complex problem. “Where are you going?” “I’m going to get your brother. We’re going to be a family again.” Joshua’s stomach twisted. His mother stood quickly, and tripped over his desk chair. “It’s all going to be okay soon,” she said as she stumbled out
of the room, suddenly in a hurry. “We’re going to be okay.” He listened as she slammed the apartment door behind her and started up her Oldsmobile. Its oily rumble bounced off the concrete yards and the somber apartment buildings as she sped away. His heart hammered as he tried to relax, ankles crossed and hands on his chest, but sleep was nowhere close. His head filled with the noise of his stomach gurgling and his blood pounding thickly in his ears. He put his hand over his heart but it provided no comfort tonight, only the rhythmic beating as he waited, helpless, in his bed. “Fuck, Josh,” his heart seemed to say, pounding blood into his ears. “Fuck, Josh. Fuck, Josh.”
ll-ll-ll - Stars-Stacked Like Spiders
Stellar Antbear - Seahorse
“Flannel Shirt” -Grenadine Apocalypse “Croft&Barrow – S – Made in Bangladesh” feeling far away I slip in through the sleeves, making your cotton shirt, my cotton shirt. Inspect breast pocket, plastic buttons, seams, smell for laundry detergent, cigarettes, sweat, pull and press new folds, poke at burn holes. Your cotton shirt fits me poorly, but fit you perfect – color complementing olive skin, soft eyes, dark curls. You wore it last weekend, here your brow furrowed, contemplating how you fit, me poorly pick pocketing for something to fill fingers, perfect.
â€œThe Spider King waited all night, tying nervous knots as he studied his empty court.â€? -B.B.
Penny Dreadful - How to Deal with Death
â€œSaturn crashing, Pluto escaping, Mars eating, Neptune rising.â€? -B.B.
“The Flying Teapot” - Grenadine Apocalypse Regina Rambo Playing banjo Nineteen-seventeen, Striped hobbleskirt Hair, feather-plumed Cobb County Queen. Kicking up dust On Petersburg Road Touring her Stanley Steam, Where was she seen At the end of the race? The bottom of old Jim Beam!
Barley Boeman - Thin Air
“How many people can you wink at?” -B.B.
Word Repetition from One Woman in Line at Rite Aid by J. A. Rook I told her, I said, ‘Now Delia you better not!’ And you know, do you know what she said back? Nothing! Absolutely nothing, she just stared at me with that annoyed look she gets, you know the one, and walked right—and I mean right—off. The nerve of that girl. I mean really, can you believe that? I don’t hardly know what to do with her, I tell you. She’s got no respect, no respect for her elders, and I tell you what, when I was her age I never gave lip nor fuss to mine. No, indeed, I did not. Do yours do that? Can’t say I’d be surprised if they did. It’s like nothing matters anymore to them, you know. Nothing except them and nothing but them, or at least them and whoever they have the latest taste for. I can’t stand hearing her talk about Ben-that and Jacob-this and well Julie’s mother said she could do it. And you can’t say, ‘Well if Julie jumped off a cliff would you do it too?’ Nuh-uh, no sir, because they shoot it right back at you and say some mouth full of ‘Mama, I don’t give a damn what you think. I’ll do what I damn well please, so just try and stop me, why don’t you!’ And then sashay right on out the backdoor with no look of regret whatsoever in those tight jeans. And I swear if she ends up like that poor, pregnant Kara at the Rite Aid I won’t hardly know what to do with myself. What kind of mother does that make me, escorting my baby with a baby around? I pray and I pray to the good Lord every day and beg Him please, Lord please, just calm her down for her own good, please! I just can’t stand to watch her throw away her life like this. I’m not stupid, you know, I know she’s not going to movies with Julie. I know. But it don’t matter—they don’t care. Why should they? They don’t understand what it’s like to be knocked up in the same small town you grew up in with hardly a skill or dime to your name, and when you do tell ‘em, they say, ‘That’s your mistake, Mama, that’s yours.’
Adeline V. Proof - remember
I do not see the point of papering walls– rows and rows of blue ducks and wreaths– when I am crumbling; a plain stained scourged surface and mold seepage. I need no mask nor glue to prevent the exposure of my ugliness with perfunctory veils of papery flesh.
still I fear I must shiver and collapse with sand-scrubbed bird-faced parchment only to become a collection of blue recollected specks melting white crystalline dust a sad puddle of memory and mud. bound by these wallpaper bandages
I stand and feel as trivial as some great collapsed thing lying on cold tiles of naught but when I shred this viscous blanket and I surrender to the naked nothingness, save me in the valleys between your fingers breathe for me and tell me
Â I am not lost or wrong or hideous.
â€œNew Game: Without looking, grab the nearest book and chuck it at a random passer-by. Write down whatever they say.â€? -B.B.