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Table of Contents
A SESTINA FOR SPILLED COFFEE, Samson Dikeman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CARRY ON, M. Krockmalnik Grabois . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 HALLELUJAH, CJ Nadeau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 THESE MORNINGS, Kieran Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 SUMMER SUIT SWALLOW, Pete Mason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 SHOOT TO KILL, Howie Good . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 TELEPATHIC CLONES, Jason Constantine Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 SOUND AND FURY, SIGNIFYING NOTHING, Adam Kane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 THE CLOUD FACTORY, Scott Malkovsky . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 BROKEN OFF THE SUN THIS TINY ROCK, Simon Perchik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 WHISPERS THROUGH THE SAILS, Charlie Weeks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 AFTER THE 5TH MILE, Kieran Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 GETTING IT RIGHT IS SO WRONG, Tom Loughlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 THE FUTURE IS JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF A HILL, Samson Dikeman . . . . . . . . . . . 21 4 FEBRUARY 2014, Gillian Devereux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 AS IF YOUR DEATH IS NOT YET THE SAME WEIGHT, Simon Perchik . . . . . . . . . . . 22 (I FELT YOU SHOULD KNOW), Kaity Davie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 6 JANUARY 2014, Gillian Devereux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 THE PART I DON’T GET, Howie Good . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 THE CONSTRUCTION OF TEMPLES, Pete Mason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 POETIC BEDSHEETS AND THE STUDY OF BREATH, Scott Malkovsky . . . . . . . . . . . 26
EDITORIAL STAFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 CONTRIBUTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
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A SESTINA FOR SPILLED COFFEE Samson Dikeman
My coffee pot is pregnant But the cups have miscarried before When the floor swaddled the remains And we all made the best of a bad situation Taking turns to mop and wring and mop and wring Until the deed had never been done and the floor was clean
Everyone still ate all their breakfast and the floor was clean None of us could tell that the pot had ever been pregnant We told her she looked nice when she started to wring Her handle worn down I knew I’d seen this before Another coffee pot in the same situation An empty shell left with all that remains
Shards of ceramic and all that remains Were grounds and everything had to be clean So we could shake off the smell of a bad situation Soap and stale coffee told us the pot had been pregnant Some of us had never seen babies spilled on the floor before We all held hands and we tried not to wring
The life out of each other as we formed a ring Around the sad pot and her soggy remains It was a beautiful morning just moments before The day was unfolding and the kitchen was clean We had crust in our eyes when the pot got pregnant No one predicted this sad situation
Now we try to avoid this type of situation Someone puts the pot in the cupboard while we mop and wring She shouldn’t have to watch us do that right after being pregnant I’ve seen too many pots that wallow in the remains You can’t really tell the difference right after we clean Of what the floor looks like now and what it looked like before
Pots used to scream when we did this before They never expect to be in this situation So now we just hide them and make everything clean Sop up the pain with a mop and give it a wring Into the bucket which holds the remains No evidence that anybody had ever been pregnant
Everyone likes the floors clean so we mop and we wring Bad situations can be good if nothing bad remains Everything again like before they got pregnant
CARRY-ON M. Krockmalnik Grabois
contained an 800-page biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer and a worn copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy three months worth of high quality vitamins two pair of underwear and a t-shirt with a frayed neckline and a flowery surfer design across the front The guards at the airport detained me and asked me questions for which I had no answers In the end I think they satisfied themselves that I was merely eccentric and stupid On the plane I’d met 5
a woman about my age which is indeterminate She was waiting for me on the sidewalk when I was released I was pleased because I was always looking for someone to take care of me She was pleased because she was always looking for someone to take care of as her Polish grandmother had done a succession of small rotund men who adored opera and had weak hearts This jet-lagged woman’s eyes were unnaturally blue She took my suitcase and began rolling it toward the parking lot in which chickens did a dance
to keep away weasels As she opened the door of her Peugeot I knew her as an unrecognized saint She stopped in her tracks trying to figure out what to do about the annoying stigmata that had appeared on her hands and feet Like Joni Mitchell she smoked four packs of cigarettes a day and decided to use them as gauze to wipe the blood away In her car she smoked The smoke smelled like a slaughterhouse I had worked in a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa, USA and the smell brought back fond memories
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HALLELUJAH CJ Nadeau
Hallelujah will roll off my tongue tomorrow if the accident up ahead doesn’t coagulate traffic. If green lights greet this bus off the freeway and get me to you, then I’ll allow hope that Jackson, Mississippi will resurrect anything. If you left smiling, like I’m told, then I worry it was different from that smile on the school bus we rode through Europe. And after leaving Amsterdam, we thought everything was funny.
That summer, when we came back, we had only days before I left for school. We drowned our toes in your pool until they pruned and we talked about goodbyes. When I tried to go back inside, you asked me to go swimming. I still can’t figure out how you didn’t make a sound, wearing your jeans and that white shirt with the red sleeves that stopped at your elbows—the water and I were silent as you displaced everything.
Maybe it’s because I skipped swimming that our palms didn’t stick together as we waited for my train to board in Providence, Rhode Island. That morning, we played chess in the park. It only took sixteen turns for you to topple me. And now, I’m somewhere between two Carolinas and I realize it was foolish to have taken your bishop.
My bus is resting on asphalt that doesn’t know anything about our scraped knees or that girl from Polk City. I met her on my way to Philadelphia and when I was drunk I told her I loved her because she reminded me of you.
That Floridian made me take the Liberty Bell seriously, how it looks like the daffodils you stuck in my arm’s cast the night of graduation. You pulled them and their roots from the concrete near the old mill and we skipped bottle caps in puddles and used our gowns as picnic cloths. We sang that song about the trapeze swinger and then you cried because of that boy with the words “space monkey” tattooed under his arm.
But I’m trying to forget him now and my window seat is audience to firemen in their tired black jackets with reflective yellow strips. They’ve got the jaws of life cutting through the roof to the dashboard of a bobble-head saint. One fireman’s face is streaked with sweat that drips from the dimples of his grimace. When he stops to rub the back of his hand across his brow, I know there’s no hope left. I already used my hallelujah just to get out of bed this morning, but for the sake of anyone inside that car and the man trying to pry it loose, I pray purgatory is make believe.
Like the things we used to pretend while we were cross legged beneath willow trees. I hope you still remember how that tree was planted and the games we made of it. And I hope that puzzles are no longer your hobby.
But if you want to put something back together, then I hope there’s a forest nearby. We’ll walk on pine needles and I’ll ask why you ended your letter with “not yesterday.” And you’ll tell me that you miss me and I won’t believe you and I’ll remind you that everything I loaned you came back in worse condition. And that’s why I was so afraid for the day you gave me back my heart.
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THESE MORNINGS Kieran Collier
My girlfriend’s shower head is 6 ft tall which is great for her, all 5 ft nothing but for me means I have to twist my body so the water brushes more than just my lower back and stomach.
This happens on the mornings I wake up next to her with dust in my eyes, where we make breakfast and drink caffeine together, the mornings we hit the snooze button as many times as we can.
On these mornings I find myself in her shower, using her shampoo, bending over so my head can reach the water.
I swear, it looks like I’m praying.
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SUMMER SUIT SWALLOW Pete Mason
My friend takes solace in his headless shadow, when the fire is all hum and snowflake rain. He says, it’s why he wears worm-drink like a summer suit when he swallows.
He says, we are like 14 hymns caught in the throat of our own traffic- jam—all that song getting babble mixed, and beating its way out like prison riot, because Holy is best understood with conviction.
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SHOOT TO KILL Howie Good
A 9-year-old girl wearing a black-and-white Halloween costume was shot in the shoulder by a relative who mistook her for a skunk. If you are sufficiently enraged, determined, or intoxicated, you can simply shrug off the psychological effects of being shot. Wikipedia includes a list of celebrities who were shot and lived. Being shot isn’t like in the movies. Ever see High Sierra? How about Reservoir Dogs? Mr. Orange was shot in the gut, if I remember rightly. About 46 percent of all gunshot wounds are fatal. My mother went in for heart surgery one day and never came out.
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TELPATHIC CLONE Jason Constantine Ford
A central machine is feeding clones with a message That they can relate to each other without a word As newly created commands make the passage From one clone to the next regarding what is inferred. Through portal of a microchip, clones communicate To one another without words as fate’s hands designate Tasks to sleeper cells with deadly desires driven. Intellects are being fed with the objective Of releasing the flu and disguising its features As an outbreak of cholera most infective Unto a state of blindness among many creatures. An enhanced microchip creates a vital link Between different clones who begin to think As one regarding a task already given. In the early morn, a virus infects each database Which tracks the identities of ones with the flue And removes its existence without a trace To be replaced with cholera nobody knew. As governments try to fight cholera non-existent, Signals between clones become more persistent 11
In the form of a command to obtain a final goal. â€¨ â€¨
Through telepathic channels that remain unknown To other forms of life, the clones are able to devise A strategy of polluting water in every zone Of human beings destined for their own demise. On a night when cholera is thought to be spreading, Allotted agents of death are slowly treading Through a dam with defences cut by a gaping hole.
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SOUND AND FURY, SIGNIFYING NOTHING Adam Kane
Twitter is the worst, amirite?
Ok, it’s not the worst. It would be pretty hypocritical of me to complain about something I willingly signed up for, check regularly, and have posted to nearly 6,500 times since 2009. It’s the top left app on page one of my iPhone. That said, I’m going to complain about it anyway. On Saturday afternoon, an undersized football player from Missouri (and, by the way, the reigning Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year) was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. In any other year, this would be an insignificant factoid. In any other year, this would receive less than zero media coverage. Except that the player drafted this year happens to be Michael Sam, who earlier this spring went on television and told the world he is gay. This is significant for several reasons, but the main one is this: the National Football League has never had an openly gay, active player. Neither had any of the four major professional American sports (baseball, basketball and hockey being the other three) until February 23rd, 2014, when Jason Collins checked into a National Basketball Association game for the first time since coming out of the closet. As is often the case with potential draft picks with media notability, there was a camera set up in Michael Sam’s living room to capture his reaction if and when a team selected him. Some of the college superstars in the draft are even flown to the site of the draft for a photo op with the commissioner and their family and loved ones. The draft pick gets a hat and a jersey (both immediately are for sale at NFL.com), kisses his wife/girlfriend, and people clap. (Or, if you’re a Jets fan, you boo everyone, including the new players for your own team.) Some of you might see where I’m going here. Upon receiving the phone call from the St. Louis Rams, Michael Sam was overcome with emotion. He hugged his agent and kissed his boyfriend. All of this was shown on television - specifically, ESPN and the NFL Network. A tornado of selfrighteousness was unleashed on the internet and tore its way through Twitter, leaving in its wake a trail of offended sports fans, both liberal and conservative. Unsurprisingly, conservatives are offended that two men are kissing on television, and liberals are offended by the fact that conservatives exist and are using the internet. It was as if sports fans were in a dimly-lit, high school gym, conservatives standing on one half, liberals on the other, throwing those foamy dodgeballs at one another. The ones that don’t hurt when you get hit by them, but make a great noise. It’s easy to see something and fire off a tweet like it’s nothing. I do it all the time. If I see something funny, or strange, maybe I’ll tweet about it. I like making my friends laugh. When we watch the Super Bowl or the Oscars, we tweet about it. It’s a way to share the experience. It’s also really easy to say hateful things and hide behind a smartphone. People who disagree aren’t actually other people; they’re nothing more than a Twitter handle. We see Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend on television, and if we don’t like it, we can tell the world. Or if we see someone speaking out against Michael Sam and don’t like that, we can tell the world about
that too. THEN, someone on the other side responds, and back and forth it goes. It’s essentially this conversation: Twitter Person #1: I’m outraged! Twitter Person #2: I’m outraged at your outrage! Twitter Person #1: Your outrage at my outrage is what is wrong with this country! Twitter Person #2: Your opinion is what is wrong with this country! It’s nothing but noise. More and more we’re resigning ourselves to finger pointing and name calling. It’s the lowest form of discourse, and yet it gets increasing coverage: “Click Here to See Angry Tweets About Michael Sam!” Why? What is the value? We all know that Michael Sam is going to have many, many supporters (his jersey sales are already impressive) and a vocal group of detractors. By the way, those Twitter handles arguing back and forth are all real people. I imagine quite a few are also mild mannered and wouldn’t ever get into such an argument face to face. But on the internet, you don’t have to sign your name to anything, let alone show your face. You can sling insults free of consequence, and so many of us do just that. It doesn’t ever feel harmful, but it is. Twitter has quickly become essential for millennials, as a communication tool and a de facto newspaper. But intelligent, reasoned debate? You’ll have to look somewhere else. (And before you check the comments under YouTube videos, I’ll save you the trouble. Just skip it.) We all have opinions, and 140 characters aren’t usually enough to express those opinions, or really much of anything in a meaningful way. All this adds up to the real problem with Twitter. Every one of us, being the Truman Burbank of our own lives, believes that our opinion on a subject like the Michael Sam story is going to change the conversation. And Twitter, the proverbial soapbox of the internet, only gives us 140 characters, including punctuation and spaces, to change that conversation. It’s impossible to portray nuance with such little real estate. So we’re left with the finger pointing, name calling, and emotional reactions. These reactions aren’t new, they’re just new to the Twitter neighborhood, having migrated from talk radio. And the rest of us feed into it by ignoring the links that lead to nuanced writing in favor of the slideshows, GIFs, and memes easier for our low attention spans to digest. This is the real struggle people my age have to deal with. Just last week, I was watching a baseball game, and eating a snack, and instinctively, with my free hand I reached for my phone to start playing that 2048 game (it’s so frustrating). I had the Red Sox in front of me, Nutella on toast in my hand, and yet I still wasn’t satisfied. I didn’t need more stimulation, and yet I sought it anyway. It was ridiculous, and at the same time eye-opening. We have the time to form real opinions on the world around us, and we have plenty of places to express them. And Twitter is a great way to communicate, but we can’t allow ourselves to replace real debate with tiny, half-expressed opinions from nameless strangers. And really, Nutella requires our full attention. It’s too delicious for anything less.
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THE CLOUD FACTORY Scott Malkovsky
Eight am, wings in the air You saunter over with your signature first class smile Transporting my third coffee with Bailey’s And I’m 17% okay
The void next to me is paused under a red fleece Heavy breath trapped in a size 44 business coat A disappearing act that still needs to work out its kinks
The mug floats with my hand, tipsy but ready for takeoff As I breathe out the most alluring pillows of air Down comforters, mute sirens to lure you in
I am a cloud factory
The sky has taught you of boys like me Mental chameleons in search of a conquest Desperate to dull the constant whir of reality
You flash the seatbelt sign with your eyes Motion for the mug in my limp hand Passed out on my lap, couch crashing for the night
It’s in the subtle way you dare me to ask for another That forces me to unwrap my red fleece Decline, recline, and think of another shape
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BROKEN OFF THE SUN THIS TINY ROCK Simon Perchik
Broken off the sun this tiny rock points down and your hand matters is heated the way shadows early on pulled back, seal the Earth a second time –your gravestone stays put has grown higher :a landmark though each sunrise starts out as your mouth without a harbor so you can take in this pebble filling with fingertips from someone near too weak to carry it further –it’s impossible to stop! the thud lowered into an ocean, misled by sunlight then year after year everything –eat! sip! something!"
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WHISPERS THROUGH SAILS Charlie Weeks
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AFTER THE 5TH MILE Kieran Collier
I smell like fish and the dying, my calves quivering to the touch like a half-dead animal. And I remember when this first began, all this run and sweat, how it was punishment for being the body I was born into. Hunched over alone on the side of my high school track, my guts leaving my stomach as they became one with the grass. The wrist that wiped my vomit-speckled lips before beginning again. This was how I learned to ask forgiveness, to look up at the sky and feel denied an answer. Now when I shed my skin on the hot days, when the sun beats itself red against my skin, I know that this is holy because it’s how I’ve learned to pray— but every prayer comes from the darkness it seeks to rid itself from. And this love of the body, this love of running until exhaustion, it was born of self-hate and loathing, of mirrors that could not contain my shape. But now, when I hold the laces tight in my hands like prayer beads, wipe sweat from my brow with a once shameful wrist, the celebration of everything I am is the only song I hear.
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" "GETTING IT RIGHT IS SO WRONG Tom Loughlin
If poets could invent a game, it would be baseball. Everything about the game is metaphor. It has a symmetry, a style, and a sensibility to it that bespeaks all that is mysterious and poetic about living. It is rhapsody masquerading as a sport. It is one of my litmus tests for how deep my friendship with you is going to be. If you are a baseball fan and understand the nuances of the game, then I know I can probably share some deep personal life experiences with you. If you tell me you don’t understand the game, I can teach you. But if you tell me the game is boring and nothing ever happens, you are clearly a shallow fool whose life is a collection of trivial nonsense, and we will never move beyond cliched pleasantries.
It is, therefore, to be taken as a sign that civilization and indeed, all things beautiful, wonderful and poetic, are on the verge of extinction with the introduction of instant replay to baseball. The guardians of the game have opened the Pandora’s box of technology, given it permission to wreak havoc, and to worm its insidious way into the soul of the game. Up to this season, baseball had been one of the last bastions where a person could escape from the tyranny of technology. Pay your admission, grab a seat, a beer and a hot dog, and sit for an unknowable amount of time, gazing over a lush field of green, listening to the crack of the bat, the pop of leather, admiring the rhythm and choreography of the players turning two, comfortable in the bosom of 138 years of tradition and history. Who, in the name of all that is sacred, thought it was a good idea to break all this up by letting some person in a sterile studio hundreds of miles away have the ability to overturn a call by an umpire?
The first time I witnessed an appeal this season made my stomach churn and my soul ache. The manager, in this case Joe Girardi of the Yankees, after some time-wasting chit-chat with the umpire while his coaches checked the replay in the clubhouse, politely appeals a call at first base. Out comes a person with a humongous bag over her shoulder, and the umpires gather around the bag. One umpire dons a headset, and then waits. The air is dry, sterile, dismal, as the videotape is reviewed elsewhere in some undefined studio replete with monitors and artificial light. We wait. More air is sucked out of the stadium. Finally, the signal is given, and the call is reversed - out at first. Strangely, however, nobody seems particularly happy or satisfied. Even though the technology allowed the umpires to “get it right,” no sense of real satisfaction emerges from either players or fans. Only resignation to the inevitable.
And that is precisely the problem. Everyone in the stadium knows what has just happened the humanity of the game has just been stolen from them. We miss the pleasure of watching the manager argue with the umpire. We miss the fun of getting to boo the umpire. We miss the excitement of arguing with our baseball friends and frenemies about the call. We miss the what-ifs and could-bes about the next moments in the game. There is no joy in Mudville, because there is really no joy in “getting it right” through technology.
There was never any need for this drastic and destructive step. Baseball rules for generations have told us that the umpire is always right, and that his judgement prevails on the field. The beauty of this arrangement is that even when the umpire is wrong, he is right, and that in itself is a vital element in the nature of the game. Since by rule the umpire can never be wrong, there has never been any need for instant replay; all the calls ever made in the history of 19
baseball have been the right calls. When a call has been “wrong,” that has been just one more element in the ultimate resolution of the game, as significant as a timely home run or a suicide squeeze. History itself is nothing if not the outcome of human decisions, right or wrong. Your own life is a collection of calls you have made. Some have been “right,” and maybe you think some have been “wrong,” but you and I don’t get instant replay. We don’t get to reverse the call. This is what baseball, as the most human of sports, should reflect. Giving an unseen entity who is not even on the field of play the ability to change the past gives that person a power even God does not have.
The clamor to establish instant replay in baseball says a great deal about the current state of our society, and none of what it says is good. The battle cry of “get it right” won the day, and it is that very philosophy that is killing our culture. Have the right parents, live in the right neighborhood, go to the right school, get the right answers, get the right grades, make the right friends, wear the right clothes, drive the right car, have the right job, make love with the right person, raise the right kids, join the right organizations, espouse the right political beliefs, retire in the right place, die the right death. We are all victims of this syndrome, all struggling to get it right. And technology is providing us with the illusion that, thanks to its existence, we can get it right more and more often. Technology can erase all the wrongs by providing more and better data so you can make the right call. We can find the right house in the right neighborhood at the right price thanks to Zillow. Match.com (or, if you need a Christian lover, ChristianMingle), will provide us with the right mate. The Princeton Review will provide us with the right college. Autotrader will provide us with the right car. Technology is rife with websites that will provide us with the right political views, no matter how extreme. Technology will solve the environmental issues we have. And by God, technology will get us the right calls in baseball. Who could ask for more than always to be right, all the time?
I can. I want my game of baseball human and imperfect, as I want my life. There is no glory in getting it right. I want the pain, the agony of having gotten it wrong. I want the regrets, the what-ifs, the could-bes. Where else does poetry, drama, literature reside if not in the imperfections of humanity? Wipe out the wrongs we commit, and you wipe out any reason to write, to sing, to act, to paint. Only a soulless automaton with nothing but fear and trembling in their heart wants to get everything right. Baseball has now succumbed to these automatons, robbing us of the last sanctuary where what was wrong was right. We are all less human as a result.
PS - Jackie Robinson, you were out at home. Still.
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THE FUTURE IS JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF A HILL Samson Dikeman
The future is just the other side of a hill.
I wonder if they’ll ever make a robot so advanced that it gets the names of its dead friends tattooed on its back in a world where machines can finally hold memories that aren’t 0’s or 1’s
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4 FEBRUARY 2014 Gillian Devereux
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AS IF YOUR DEATH IS NOT YET THE SAME WEIGHT Simon Perchik
As if your death is not yet the same weight traps count on though you are leaning back putting dirt in your mouth while to the last
pebbles come by to shelter you, lie down –you will have to die some more, brought this far by what moonlight has to say
about holding on –you have to eat from a hand that’s opened till your grave is too heavy, fills broken into for each goodbye hidden away
as the breath clinging to footstones that wander past, throwing a cloud over you, boarded up as mountainside and so many deaths at once
–here even rain is comforted to keep you dry –whole families sitting down, waiting for you to walk in, forget something somewhere else.
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(I FELT YOU SHOULD KNOW) Kaity Davie
do you know what it’s like, to feel your pulse in your throat? to want to peel your own skin off? there’s a feeling i know that demands i stand before you, down to the sinew (once the muscle mass appears, however, that’ll be gone too. i felt you should know). i wanna be down to the bones of it, to a state where i can’t be ashamed and where i can control every single impulse that i have.
don’t look, i’m digging my fingernails into my own skin again be quiet, there are already enough voices preaching the book of fools in my brain don’t touch me, my scars are tingling and i’m walking on tightropes these days
these days when i just can’t turn these feelings off (my lighting bill is off the charts with all the energy i’ve been utilizing lately. i felt you should know), these days when i have thoughts pouring out of me like a river, like a stream, like a goddamn babbling brook (on and on and on, i felt you should know).
if emotions were water, i'd have enough to drench the sahara if my balance were impeccable, i’d still crash sideways into you like i was roller coaster drunk
i don't know how many times i've tried to take these words back; a reclamation if you must it has become a simple matter of fact that this isn't a matter of anything, in fact
this skin isn’t mine, not really (it never has been, i felt you should know) any more than you might be mine (i’m likely to wreck you, i felt you should know.)
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6 JANUARY 2014 Gillian Devereux
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THE PART I DON’T GET Howie Good
From infancy, the gods grow wan and disagreeable. Someone should tell them that poor hygiene doesn’t make you look bad ass, just disinterred. Then the scene changes. A burned girl, about 10, with a morphine drip. It’s the part I don’t get. By morning, a hill of surplus chainsaws has appeared where the great blue heron used to stand on one leg posing for black-and-white snapshots. The call centers in Kathmandu must have been busy all night. Often I can feel smiles and tears, cheap plastic chess pieces, moving around inside my head.
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THE CONSTRUCTION OF TEMPLES Pete Mason
"The narthex is tailored of woolen
suits, all gold and draping cloth. Shine and polish in watches and buckles and single rings. The congregation does not allow for the revealing: When I was a boy, I loved the feel of nylon and lace, the sweet of cherry lip balm, the click of stiletto on floorboard. We treat our bodies like temples— Tell ourselves the alter is needed, the collected silence. The way my touch no longer misses something softer.
POETIC BEDSHEETS AND THE STUDY OF BREATH Scott Malkovsky
Drop your tension beside your bags and have a seat
Watch a girl cruelly labeled as a “hipster” flip through a book of poems Watch the sweat blush down the rabid dog of her forehead Watch as heavy-traffic breath slowly exhausts from the one-lane tunnel of her esophagus
Watch her lip curl up in a knot of trembling teeth Watch the mouth in her eyes devour the words Little literary orgasms that explode in her peripheries
Now watch closely, because just as it looks like she’ll bloom into an orchid - she won’t Instead, watch her brush her hand against her roots, Watch her shut the book and board the plane Watch her just watch her
Watch her traverse the sky
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jordan Rizzieri (Long Island, NY) is a 26-year-old caregiver and writer. After graduating from SUNY Fredonia with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a minor in English, she spent over a year in Buffalo, NY honing her playwriting skills. In 2011 she saw the staging of her first full-length play, The Reunion Cycle, as part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. Upon her return to Long Island, she began blogging about being a young adult caring for her ailing mother, as well as publishing essays on the topic. As she prepares to return to the work force, Jordan spends the evening hours writing, watching WWE wrestling with her boyfriend and listening to spooky podcasts. On the weekends she drinks a lot of craft beer, listens to the radio and has arguments with her boyfriend's cats (which she almost always loses.) Feel free to contact her with questions about flannel, grunge, The Twilight Zone and the proper spelling of braciola .
FICTION EDITOR Kay Kerimian (Buffalo, NY), just freshly turned 25, has gone from Long Island native & bagel aficionado to hippie-dippie Hudson Valley student before ultimately taking a chance on The Queen City as a professional go-getter. Holding degrees in Performance & Gender Studies while carefully considering a literary escape route, Kay currently resides in Western New York with her partner in crime; the two share plans to explore the great unknown together by this time next year. After hastily publishing a small collection of short stories independently at the ripe old age of 17, Kay quietly abandoned her lifelong ambition of becoming a celebrated writer for an equally quixotic career in the performing arts while adopting a new name. When not on stage or on a proverbial soap box, Kay spends her free time reading (a lot), traveling (as much as possible on an artist's income), & thinking up the next big project (currently attempting to try something new every day for a year). She prefers using lower-case, enjoys coffee, whiskey, & sweets (respectively & in no particular order), & pines for never-ending libraries. Always interested in a dialogue, Kay welcomes discussions involving disability awareness, heteronormativity, & hypothetical super powers.
NON-FICTION EDITOR Jennifer Lombardo (Buffalo, NY) is 25 years old and works full time at a hotel in order to support her travel habit. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a B.A. in English in the hope of becoming an editor. When she isn't making room reservations for people, she reads, cross-stitches and goes adventuring with her friends. She is especially passionate about AmeriCorps,Doctor Who and the great outdoors. Ask her any question about grammar, but don't count on her to do math correctly.
POETRY EDITOR Bee Walsh (Brooklyn, NY) is a 24-year-old New York native living in Bed-Stuy. She graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2010 with a B.A. in English Literature and a B.S. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. Reciting her two majors and two minors all in one breath was a joke she told at parties. The English Department played a cruel trick on her and pioneered a Creative Writing track her final year, but she charmed her way into the Publishing course and became Poetry Editor for the school’s literary magazine, The Trident. Bee has spent the past three years trying different cities on for size and scoffing at people in each of them who ask her about her "career goals." An Executive Assistant in publishing by day, you can find her most nights stage managing non-profit theatre, eating vegan sushi in the West Village or causing mischief on roofs with her boyfriend, Brian. Run into her on the subway, and she'll be nose deep in a book. She holds deep feelings about politics, poise, and permutations. Eagerly awaiting winter weather and warm jackets, she’d love to talk to you about fourth-wave feminism, the tattoo of the vagina on her finger, or the Oxford comma.
"Samson Dikeman is an MFA student studying at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. He is one of the poetry editors for the school's new literary journal, The Pine Hills Review. He currently lives and works in Albany, NY. Follow Samson on Twitter.
M. Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems and fictions have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story “Purple Heart” published inThe Examined Life in 2012, and for his poem. “Birds,” published in The Blue Hour, 2013. His novel, TwoHeaded Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition.
" CJ Nadeau makes pasta one box at a time. "
Kieran Collier is a Boston based poet, two-time member of the Emerson College CUPSI team, and a curator of the Emerson Poetry Project, Emerson College’s only spoken word organization. His work has been published in FreezeRay, The Legendary, Maps for Teeth, and Emerson Review to name a few, and he will be featured in the upcoming MultiVerse: A Write Bloody Superhero Anthology (Fall 2014). He has flat feet and a vitamin D deficiency.
Pete Mason is a poet from Rochester, New York. He received a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia in 2014, is the founder of the former online literary magazine the Inn House Review, and is currently writing literary reviews for Arcadia Magazine’s Online Sundries. His poetry has appeared in Arcadia Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Spry Literary Journal, and elsewhere.
Howie Good's latest book of poetry is The Complete Absence of Twilight (2014) from MadHat Press. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely, who does most of the real work.
Jason Constantine Ford is from East Perth in Western Australia. He writes for the love of writing. His major influences in poetry and fiction are Edgar Alan Poe, Philip K. Dick, William Blake and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Most of his poetry is rhyming poetry, as he is dedicated to it. He also writes fiction. Jason is interested in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror.
Adam Kane is a pop-culture enthusiast, essayist, and recovering actor living and working in Boston. You can follow him onTwitter, where he tweets about the Red Sox, Syracuse basketball and the line at Starbucks.
Scott Malkovsky is an actor living in California who found a love for poetry after taking creative writing classes in college. On occasion, you can find him on Twitter.
Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.
Charlie Weeks is a writer and consummate observer riding subways and walking the streets of New York City; believing we live in extraordinary times most are too busy staring at their smart phones to acknowledge. In the mean time, he's always working out how to express 28
himself in ways our normal use of language can fail to express effectively. He has been a featured poet on The Morning Bell Journal blog, as well having been published in the Grey Sparrow Journal and the Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review. You can keep up with his daily writings via his Tumblr.
A teacher, actor, and writer, Tom Loughlin resides in the City of Dunkirk, on the shores of Lake Erie, in western NY State. He began writing regularly when he took up blogging in 2005, adapting the nom de plume a poor player. He has written extensively on issues in educational theatre. He has an irregular blog, North of Sixty, where he ruminates on the phenomenon of aging, and maintains a Twitter and Tumblr presence.
Gillian Devereux received her MFA in Poetry from Old Dominion University and is the Assistant Director of the Writing Center at Wheelock College in Boston, where she also teaches creative writing. She is the author of Focus on Grammar (dancing girl press, 2012) and They Used to Dance on Saturday Nights (Aforementioned Productions, 2011), and her poems have appeared in numerous journals, most recently Boog City, Printerâ€™s Devil Review, Sundog Lit, and N/A. She can be found online at gilliandevereux.com, streaming pop music from the cloud.
Kaity Davie is an overly enthusiastic gal making her way in the music industry. Writing rambling lines of prose when she's not haunting venues, festivals, and dive bars across New York City/the greater United States, Kaity is a proud resident of Queens who is sometimes caught singing Ludacris guest verses in the shower, and will never turn down a party with unlimited juice. She can be found on Instagram. Twitter, and Tumblr.
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