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SPRUNG FORMAL, ISSUE 8

MANAGING EDITOR

Jessi Wilson STAFF

Rachel Benson, Nicki Blanchard, Claire Brankin, Mike Bridge, Abby Carr, Anna De Sando, Keller Gordon, Laedan Galicia, Ian Snyder, J.Victoria Terrell, Amber Thomas, Kaitlin Twiss FACULTY EDITOR

Jordan Stempleman

Sprung Formal would like to thank: PHYLLIS MOORE, NAOMI O’DONNELL, NORTH KANSAS CITY BEVERAGE COMPANY, JAMES PRINTING, & BOULEVARD BREWING COMPANY

SPRUNG FORMAL IS A LITERARY ARTS JOURNAL PUBLISHED ANNUALLY IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE SCHOOL OF LIBERAL ARTS AT THE KANSAS CITY ART INSTITUTE.

Since 2005, Sprung Formal is a student-edited & produced literary magazine. We pride ourselves on combining professional content with professional grade student work. To see what we’ve done in the past, please visit WWW.SPRUNGFORMAL.WORDPRESS.COM


Mating Ritual LAUREN STOOKEY

Science takes precedence over Romanticism. I was once told that the tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body, that when we age, we lose 75% of our ability to taste. 80 years spent scraping our tongues against our teeth, against each other’s tongues. 80 years spent squandering our ability to taste in exchange for an immediate need to feel. We sift wine through our teeth to remind us of the suffering of the whales. Sift flour through our fingers in remembrance of our own non-color. Performing relationships. Here is a picture of us as animals. Here is a picture of us as babies.


Previa | ABBY CARR


Future Narrative SARAH JEAN ALEXANDER

Am I a little bit chubbier than you remembered me to be I’ve been working on it / not working out A quarter of a century old, I’ve moved back into my parents’ home to save money And yes, I am saving loads but my mom has so many of these leftover dinners stockpiled in the freezer I’m eating at midnight again Do I still have to sneak men in after my parents leave for work Will they call the cops on me again I haven’t shaved my legs in 3 months and I can’t wear shorts in front of my dad I know he would disapprove / I look like him What do other 25-year-olds worry about Does everyone grow at the same rate What length is your armpit hair, Dad I appreciate that no one calls me on my phone anymore We’ve all agreed it’s best to just forget mostly everything I tried to fit into my niece’s baby clothes tonight Nothing fit


Yahoo Answers Agrees: Every Time I’m Sick, I’m Probably Going to Die DILLON J. WELCH

I keep a jackknife in my vest pocket for emergency surgery. I heard on TV once that a man dug out an artery because it was infected with aliens. He was 73 & wore elaborate hats made of tinfoil. Over time, wiring frays. Muscles fall to attrition, piping leaks from unseen hairline cracks. Tim, 48, electrician from New Orleans says he thinks I have psychosis. He says his grandmother had it before she died, says she would hang socks from the ceiling & call them tentacles. He says she’d always held her head on crooked, & I imagine an old woman fastening her skull like a light bulb. I close my eyes & my temples feel like misfired rifles. They feel like what the French Quarter would feel like if it had a heart, a stomach, a brain. Acid Reflux. Slow blood. An aortic valve backed up like traffic. Many miles away, a truck full of barrels loosens its shipment all over Bourbon. Back home, I tie a tube sock to the ceiling fan, watch it whirl like a current.


Yahoo Answers is Straining to See Meaning in a Photo of Mountains DILLON J. WELCH

Sara, 28, from Sweden asks if American winters harbor resentment like a docked boat, a clasped bear trap. She says her husband commits murders beneath his breath every night, tight-lipped last calls, a beer bottle to the kneecaps of a neighbor’s pickup truck. Meanwhile, in America, paint freezes on vinyl siding & chips off in the wind. Meanwhile, a homeless man wears someone’s old shoes & prays for a fifth of drink. For a mandolin filled with loose change, a leather coat lined with bills or cotton—whichever is warmer. Sara, 28, from Sweden asks if American winters wear their cold well. Do shop windows crack with frost? she asks. Somewhere in Delaware or maybe D.C., a winter store’s window splits right up the middle. Scarves on racks wave like white flags as Cops in big coats jot indiscernible markings in small, coilbound notepads. They rule it an accident. Somewhere, a shivering man holds the imprint of a brick in the valley of his right hand.


The Sheryl Crow Chronicles, Part 2 DILLON J. WELCH

Your life is a series of depleting water sources. A series of wells constantly thirsty. Every time you think about it, some clump of hair falls out in the shower. Every time you think about it your brother calls you: Matthew is three today. Hi, sis. Matthew just turned seven. Pagan hedonism on Lifetime. A bottle of nail polish remover sits on your nightstand like a sign of things to come. Deduction: remove yourself from your high school’s call list, excuse yourself from the table. You need to powder your nose. You need to sit in the stall and cry into your fists like a broken faucet. Every time you think about broken faucets, a clump of air gets caught in an unknown spot in your chest. Today your nephew is turning twelve. He is grinning over a cake in the photo, bent forks in both hands.


Baby Gurl :( CHUCK YOUNG

I was the first to write :’( as a comment on the post that said there’d been an unattended death in town. I was the first to put RIP Baby Gurl as my status though the body hadn’t yet been identified. I just knew it was her and needed to get it out there. I started the memorial page minutes later. I posted the link to the page so that everyone could Like it. And so that everyone would know who I meant by Baby Gurl. I checked the original post and there were now 10-15 :( and :’( comments. I was the first though. Over the next week, I promoted the memorial page. We needed to get to 1,000 likes. We needed to do it for Baby Gurl. We did! I was the one that got the idea to do bracelets and t-shirts. Someone else took over the designs but I was the first one to post about it. At the wake (open casket), I took a last cell phone pic of me and her. I tagged everyone in it. <3 <3 <3 Our sleeping angel. Our sleeping beauty. <3 <3 <3 I made it my profile picture. We were pretty much best friends. Even though we hadn’t really chilled in a couple of years. I didn’t understand why people got so upset about the pic. I thought she looked good. I didn’t know that newspapers looked at facebook and put the things they found in articles they wrote. Please publish this letter so that everyone knows that I’m a good person. And that I loved Baby Gurl even if we hadn’t chilled since the 8th grade.


Dogs Age with Monthly Rarity ABELEINE THROCKMORTON

DOGS AGE WITH MONTHLY RARITY. CAN MY ASS GRIND LOVE INTO HUGH LAURIE? NAH. I COUGH AT HIM LIKE A PILE OF DICE-PUKE. WHO WANKS ON MY PANTS, MY PINK, PINK PANTS! I DARE YOU TO SPREAD SOME SPECIAL LOVE. ABSOLUTELY NO WORDS. LET MY PENIS GROW! LET MY PENIS THINK ABOUT PENISHOOD. HE IDEAS WITH GOURDS. GOURDS IDEA WITH GOD. WHAM! JUMP ON THAT! FUCKERS, BE LIKABLE AND GAUDY. BE BITCHY. BE BANNED. DON’T DO THAT AS MY SERVANT, DO THAT AS MY SEX. BABY, JUST SIT DOWN AT THE PEN HUT. ORANGES APPEAR! I REALIZE I AM AN ORANGE. ORANGES ALWAYS TALK TOO MUCH AND TALK TOO LOVINGLY WITH MO. MO IS UNLOVABLE BECAUSE HE IS AN ORANGUTAN. NOBODY WILL KILL HIM IF HE WORKS HARD. ROPE HIM UP. PUT HIM IN A HARD JAIL. ZIG LESS. ZIG LONG. ZAG MY ZIPPER OR ZIP MY ZAPPER. WE TIMED IT PERFECTLY

Sad Girl in the City | TEAL WILSON


Boobs Suck ABELEINE THROCKMORTON

BOOBS SUCK, BUT REAL TITS ARE ZIPPY. TOMMATHY, ALTHOUGH YOU CAN’T RING MY PENIS,YOU CAN OPEN A COKE. SHALL I WIND UNDER YOUR CAT-BAT? I WILL. I WONDER HOW? WELP…WHEN I CAN. PROGRAMMING IS FUCKED. SHALL WE DIE ON TV? YES, WE SELL LOBSTER. REMEMBER THE SAD CLOWN FISHES. QUIT THAT SUMMARY, I ALREADY KISSED LOBSTER LIPS. DONTHERO IS DARING BUT GUS IS WILTY. TOO MANY OPEN PANTS. SO MANY OPEN POTS. I TOOK TOO MANY LIDS. JUNE LOBSTER FEST.


All Tits and Ass ABELEINE THROCKMORTON

ALL TITS AND ASS, ALL BOOTS AND BASTARDS. I WISH FIRMLY TO BE STILL AND SHAKE LIKE THE COLD CAT I AM. NO. NOT ANOTHER CHAPS-BLAPS. YET, I LICK ALWAYS AT THE L.A. ASSETS HEARING. LOVE! OH! SWELL! MY MISTY, HUNGRY HANDS! MEAT! VEGETA IS HER FUN BUD FURRY FUCKER WITH BISTRO-LOVER. MUSH WILL BE MUSH UNTIL MUSH IS NUMB AND PLUSHY. GEEP! IF IT IS I, TIP MY DICK OR DIE. HE ASKED FOR NOT KIDS. SHE’LL MAKE A LOT OF WEAK LOBSTERS. SHE WISHES FOR LOBSTER. TOO MANY DICKS.


Arthur Bryants ANNA KAMERER

Earlier today I heard six loud shots, so I drew my curtain and saw fireworks in the park on a Wednesday night, in February I keep thinking about different things I love about you, the way your voice is a cup of milk, or how you only know four songs on the piano, in infinite variation. The innocence of that love is lost because I wanted to keep the good things for us and let the bad things live somewhere else, the origin of lying. This is a different Missouri every morning lately itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cold, and I regret the things that sting our ears and toes. The Brooklyn I remember swelters the skin, wilting the palm, although tonight weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re layering and smell like smoked meat from distant cities we truly hate.

previous page: Scuba Boy | BRITTANY FICKEN


Michael’s Wives TEAL WILSON

All of my wives, said Michael. Woe is me, all of my wives. He shook his head. He looked at the leaves that had fallen from the ficus, the one he helped me pick out at Raw Lands Garden Center. I rubbed my palms and he had bad posture. I’m going to get some wine, I said. He had invited all his wives and they sat there on the couches, on the windowsills, the kitchen counters. Some were barefoot, bumping their knees together. And the ones who kept their shoes on kept their palms on their knees and kept their posture straight around my dinner table. These were the wives that poked us with forks when we sulked and told us chins up now, back straight. A straight back makes for a clear head. One has nothing to worry about when one is proud. They seemed to be of a different generation. They were never born but just existed as mothers, wives. I walked past them and into the kitchen. They smiled at me with little lip only smiles. I reached past a wife on the counter for the wine. When I saw her ear peek out from thin, pale hair, I whispered in it, don’t you titter, little thing. She just shrugged. I whipped around and walked quickly out. Back in the living room, I looked at Michael. I said, I’m sorry…man. I knew if this conversation went any further I would cry. And then the wives at the table turned inwards and they reached out for each other and they held hands. The ones on the counters, the ones on the windowsills and the ones who leaned in the doorways joined them. The pale-haired one gave her head a shake to release the hair from her shoulders and she gave them her hands. She smiled a big yearbook grin and looked at me. They stood up, facing their sad husband, and the smallest of them pointed, and a few of them shook their head. And like children at the end of a play, after the final bow, they scurried out—still holding hands, still watching him. Michael gave them embarrassed shrugs between glances at the door. The last wife turned her chin way up towards my ceiling, and they pulled her through the doorway.


from “I Want to be a Cell in Your Body”| RACHEL BENSON


Garden on Cherry | MALORY WARD


Aspects of Strangers PIOTR GWIAZDA

4 Some are drawn to beautiful vistas. Some consult the horoscope. Some understand the speech of animals. Some have nightmares about catastrophic weather events. Some have remarkable memory. Some forget their own name. She was intimidated by her neighbor, staring at her all day from his gazebo.

10 They reluctantly accept the possibility of the existence of other planets. When requested, they use emergency exits, follow escape routes. They live in the cloudsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; a multitude, a rabble. They pick up their luggage at Carousel Three and you never see them again.


I’m Not Inspired I Need a Shower (from Music for the Northwest Passage) NICK STURM

I’m not inspired I need a shower but who cares certainly not you love is real of course this morning I made breakfast in an orange skillet you helped thank you I needed it the bagel and yes you I wonder what will be important tomorrow hopefully I’ll see you holding a jar of mustard or galloping in the snow again we have a responsibility to hold the horrible pieces of each other in the sun I’m not sure I can manage belonging to a body I guess it depends what kind of world we believe into each other without reason some hysterical particular sweetness in the sound of dishes being washed things getting lost and broken but it’s okay you are a red chandelier in the apartment of my heart how nearly dumb that sounds is okay with me I’m not that smart I just like you I want some whiskey some money a book about angels including the fallen ones the sun is a keg of light death owns us we’re out of mustard fuck it let’s be happy


Difficult Lunches STEPHEN O’TOOLE

1. I would like it if every time I was tired and sweaty on a bus it made one of your wishes come true

2. I thought I saw a tentacle on the ground but when I bent down to pick it up, I saw it was just a cupcake wrapper story of my life

3. I’m staring at an old subway ticket you left Here’s what I decided: I’m going to collect all your old subway tickets and make a sheet. I’ll glue them all together and put them over my head and turn up at your house at night and haunt you


Backyard/Beachcourse Vacation-Planked Location with Strand-Lit Courts and Towels and Iced Coolers


JACLYN SENNE


Northern Cream MARCUS SLEASE

I was in a maze of penny arcades and met a ďŹ&#x201A;ying Scot. The Flying Scot had a pistol in red leather. We moved into together. We placed mirrors on the back of our chairs and installed a space machine. Downstairs. I became Bingo Master. The bingo balls were color time and color words. I checked the cards. Then I checked the balls. Then I checked the cards again. It was the mating season. During the mating season a Flying Scot is infested so I said up the stairs. Into the yellow bathtub. The Flying Scot arose from pink sheets. Put on clean khakis. Went downstairs. Whispered instructions to the space machine. Scratched the carpet for insects. We cracked crackers and got pasted. Ate Johnny cakes. Had a chinwag about the New Puritans. The New Puritans had high grip quota. The whole country was post cream. The villagers were dancing around pre-fabs. TV mums were on TV. The TV mums played with tarantulas. Then they played with lemur mums. I wrote a letter to my mother. It said come back come back come back to Salford. With its soap and rusty textiles.You can win something. I asked the Flying Scot if we could win something. We scratched our noses together. We scratched the carpets for insects. Then we put our coins together. Outside there was a hospital smell. A New Puritan wind. We ran into Kurious Oranj. Kurious Oranj is Granny Hops. And Granny Hops is a shrill beaver. I used to live with Granny Hops and her large insect burning farm in Salford. At night we bathed in insect legs under red light. Studded bees were delivered in December. We scratched around the carpet for insects and got hook cramp. Kurious Oranj came with us for a scratch card. We put all our coins together. We scratched and scratched. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win anything. We went with Kurious Oranj to eat green jelly from the lubrication tanks. It was a consolation prize. We washed under the glow of our fading adolescent t-shirts. A vehicle pulled up. It was the bus. We waved goodbye to Kurious Oranj and jumped in. We drove past the textile factories. The textile factories were like split-level mirages.


Dead-end ladders dangling in space. And word parasites. Long horn breed. The long horn parasites play sun in the clap. They come out of the ground. At a stoplight a dealer hopped in. He wasn’t a New Puritan. He said the experimental is now conventional. He said our feathers were flickering on the telly. He said check the record. Check the record. Check the record. Then he hopped out. At Wigam we got souled & foxy. We found a commercial traveler. He had a dirty forefinger. He was from Manchester. We went to dinner. His chest hairs blew into the soup. We went home. We scratched the carpet for insects. Then we went downstairs and spoke to the space machine.


I Love Beaver MARCUS SLEASE

“Do you like?” asks Beaver number 1. Marek replies he likes. They talk about the fish. The fish are in a bowl. Next to the bowl are four small cups. The cups are filled with walnut fire. The walnuts come from the family farm. The fire comes from Biedronka. Biedronka means ladybug in Polish. After the fire they fish a fish from the glass bowl. The fish is filled with garlic. It helps the walnut fire. After five shots The Beavers switch on the telly. The telly is mounted to the wall. It is a giant telly. The telly has internet. The Beavers go to YouTube. They find Gangnam Style. It is time to party. Gangnam Style is in Polish. Some of The Beavers freeze their nuts. Others have no nuts to freeze. Some worship The Beaver God. They break The Beaver wafers and drink The Beaver wine. All of The Beavers work their chest. Their chests are zi ya beast ya. Zi ya beast ya means fucking great in Polish. The Beavers are zi YA beast YA! Marek loves The Beavers. He watches The Beavers and drinks the walnut fire. He chews the garlic fish. He gets a t-shirt. It is a black t-shirt. The t-shirt says I LOVE BEAVER.

Ferocious Dog | NIKA WINN


Sawbones TYLER CAIN LACY

1.

Sawbones— caught in a cattle guard outside of town where the sons raise meat.

2. Sawbones —gentle manliness, your tattoos and whiskey fire breath still scare me. Love, 3. I never want to see them again, please. 4.

Sawbones, Your mom cries in her wheelchair under streetlights.

Your dad roams streets sleepwalking for you for her.

5. Sawbones— There’s meatloaf left in the oven still warm Love,


6. Sawbones is all you are creosote and mesquite and limestone (?) 7. Sawbones— Brush your teeth, please. I’m concerned for all parties involved. Love, 8. eyes where salt beds used to be left behind white around the edges where Obama is now talking about storing

nuclear waste

9. Sawbones— the cancer on your arm really does need fixing. Love, 10. 11. Sawbones— If you want to be seen with me, lose the rusty teeth. Love,

Cut it out!


Spiders & Turntables JESSI WILSON

this old record player has been on my parents’ back porch since my dad’s best friend died. it looks like back porches are all it knows. i would like to say the rust flakes off when i clack open the grips and try to open the case. the rust does not flake off. instead, there are dead spiders. the next hour is all dust and mildew, quiet except for the dry whispery crunches of old fiddlebacks. their legs are accordioned wide and awful. their tiny bodies and webs and dead woven balls of god-knows-what make the back of my neck cringe deep into my shoulders. i’m fucking terrified of spiders. i wake up screaming and flailing at the idea of them, across the room before i can open my eyes. i wish i could be somebody who splints broken wings and makes old watches wind, but i’m just somebody who wants to instagram a rehabilitated turntable and put it on the internet next to twee pictures of myself with flowers in my hair. i bite down on the inside of my cheeks and brush away spider after spider after spider without knowing if this box can even push enough electricity up through itself to spin. but it’s as old as my mother, and i want to save it. mostly, i want to care about something and i wanna believe i can fix it. the idea of finding abandoned treasure and resuscitating it. i want it to glint, and sing out high and clear like glass, or low and smooth in the pit of my stomach, to hook me back into something that’s been going on for ages and isn’t over yet, like music or dilated eyes. when i plug it in, the platter spins like it’s getting out of the car for the first time after driving all day. the volume’s blown out, somehow, whining and then howling, and i wheel the knobs as fast as i can, begging it to stop before yanking the cord. screwdrivers later, it’s all pulled apart into wire-linked components. i’ve got the speaker pulled loose. maybe one of the tubes is shot. all i can do is look down inside, and find an old bobby-pin. i have no idea what i’m doing. i keep cleaning like the problem is going to be too much dust. like it’s going to be too many dead spiders.


Things That Might Be the Opposite of a Piano JESSI WILSON

a crack house a squid flying through space drugs (drugs are like that) a rose a goldfish three blind mice your mother a stalk of celery a cross country road trip a beard a few sticks of dynamite 300 lbs of salmon a laundry and pillow fight a cucumber ninja an electric keyboard

previous spread: Hey Girl | NICKI BLANCHARD Sister | JESSICA CORNELISON


A Kind of Loss That Makes One into All Shoulders, or All Wrists JESSI WILSON

maybe it’s just the sleep deprivation, but i keep misreading snow. filthy on the ground, little pieces of it, all covered in mud and shit, and i keep thinking like it’s these fragments of clouds that got really, really far from homE and can’t find their way back so they have to die here, slowly and embarrassingly. sometimes i just want to let my macbook be the big spoon, curling into its batterypack warmth with my glasses still on and stay unconscious until you come back.


Never | RACHEL BENSON


One Near Perfect Thing ADAM CLAY

Add it to the list of idiotic things I’ve done. Once I took all of the stars from the sky and disregarded your disgust. What else? I ignored the earth’s rotation in a dull sort of way, hummed a song that’s best left forgotten, unsung. Most moves are calculated—mine aren’t. When I say hello, it means I’m already thinking goodbye.


Favorite Holiday ADAM CLAY

It matters, what you think. Preoccupied traffic light I briefly thought was a fire in the woods. In the grey morning painted along the fluorescent margins of artificial intelligence, I cut myself shaving. Strange to be so preoccupied by what matters. Redrafted most of the novel from memory and decided time prefers motion to memory, though what is a moment if not a complex sparkplug burning out? I asked for three choices from a coin toss. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve lost a half hour in this shape being inarticulate and charmless. The holiday for today deserves a better name, one that suits the state weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in and one that suits the glitch an orchid lost among the trees might feel. I am perpetually at a loss for words. Root vegetables returning the next year, and the next, and the next like tiny syllables of regret. Science maintains its supposing. One too many people in a single car.


It Is I Who Let the Dogs Out | J. VICTORIA TERRELL


Mink in Tangles | J. VICTORIA TERRELL


New Standard Poodle MATT HART

On Manning Avenue today, it’s a very good time. The sun is bright. The air is cold. And I don’t really want to see my old out-of-town, now back-in-town-for-a-week-or-so friends, because they’ve changed into lionhearted levelers, or I’ve become a transcendentalist, and both things are impossible, so I’m happy just expiring. Meanwhile, three and four part harmony pours out of the floor onto the kitchen’s knives and flowers. Birds I can’t identify stick their heads in my teapot. Maybe just then my groove came back. An Arab spring is on its back. Full-throated ease, but kicking its legs. And on the other side of the planet, the new Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, dreams of the boxer, Muhammad Ali, who will always be the greatest. “It’s just a job,” Ali says in Morsi’s dream, quoting himself from a long time ago, “Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” He means this to be instructive. He means it to indicate to Morsi his place. Back on Manning, we all prepare to play. We all hold hands and hold our breath. The wreaths around our necks signify nothing, or they signify many things: all that is and isn’t loving between us.


Millenium Falcon MATT HART

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hold it against me my stupid anguish for no good reason strikes back in my chest pains, the empireâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;O bricks of our home! I should be the one being smashed against the window, and all the color of the rain should be mine running over. I should be a fountain forever, a cranberry bog or a roasted snowman. I have thrown a thousand fatted animals and voices into the chlorinated summertime pool party and later hung on to a blade of wet grass for dear life. Dear Life, My little girl doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask me to play anymore. This fucking falcon is useless.


The Prophets MATT HART

Things have gotten weird in here. Inside this house where I can’t be distracted. Where I try not to stop wolfing the yellowy pages. Their yellowy yolks. The eyes of my wife when she’s tired, and she’s tired. Neither one of us doing much of anything well. But today our daughter drew a picture of some flowers in a striped vase on a wooden table, and brought it home from school. It’s the prettiest image in the house, the flowers all clustered together, resplendent and sunny. I make a kale salad. I make a Caesar dressing. I read about the prophets: Jonah, Hosea, Elijah and the rest. I wonder how to say what they said to all the tricked-out solipsists, the cynical among us? I say, the future is not a cliché, it’s inevitable. It won’t make you happy, but you might be happy in it. Things will have to change, of course. Winter into spring for one. Beyond that, we’ll have to see.


They, a Dull They STACY KIDD

They, a dull they, happened. Candles past seven, in the center, in fact, for her, another bird & who knew. As when, who wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wouldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve underdone & yes, a simple supper or what might pass for grace.

Smoke There is the water where we take our walks, sometimes concrete & a bridge & several geese for us to count.

The where red in comes over calls

dot and tiny

horse over

there red

horse &

farmer or

big face

beady

face over

there rocks

small & red

a man

bends down

to pick up

are little

hatchets &


Wolf Honey Bear BRIAN CLIFTON

wolves love eating honey by wolves I mean bears and by honey I mean ‘94 Buick LeSables which is a type of car or maybe it’s a word contextually bears love wolves who eat honey and literally wolves DO eat ’94 Buick LeSables but perhaps metaphorically wolves could be bears eating honey and these assumed bears could be ’94 Buick LeSables and this poem could be a wolf or maybe a bear or maybe a wolf spooning a bear if it’s the last I’d love to smear honey on it as if it were me during sex I mean being intimate with Dan Luca in his maroon ’94 Honda Civic

Skull Guns | LAEDAN GALICIA


We’ve Come for your Suburban Urges PAUL SIEGELL

Pondering the difference between adolescents in Albuquerque playing classic Super Mario Bros. in slippery vintage nylon Umbro shorts, or a scenario of adults go -ing balls-out Bukkake in the back of the all-new New Mexicano Kabuki Theatre, Catherine the Great queues up another sweet reason to masturbate. Of the whirr & succulence. Scantily clad scavenger hunt—But, that’ll have to linger. First, she’s gotta run to the dry cleaners & then the bank, & then pick the kids up from school.


Big Booty Chick With Bean Bag | MILES FERMIN


from Three-Way

for Brian Whitener ALLI WARREN

the colts, my fucking job, no bad things Artâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Crab Shack, James Brown is dead, shrimps old bars new feelings, bread pudding, back in the saddle tonic, a mouse, the bridge at night indecision, mercury retrograde, the prophet Laura Kipnis, advice poetry, desperation purple asparagus, bottle service, Barton Springs chlamydia, Four Roses, Afghani goo solo sushi, headcold, Watts Prophets Manischewitz, Bay Area exodus, apricots drunk girls, quiet act of extension, Poodle Dog Lounge totalitarian lockstep, tiger salad, free-floating despair district salute, collective banking, head magnetic to the floor anti-homeless law, hope is for the middle-aged, the feeling is mutual


Flower Flames MELISSA ELEFTHERION CARR

Miniskirt the hospitality for my underage drinking Flesh on vinyl, Blue Hawaiis, we thought we were. Unsticking from umbra umbilical I swam in you Olympic. Four a.m. guts at the diner, your mom in pajamas driving. Sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rising body our cue for sleep A graceful, flammable line. We rollerskated through it. We watched the sea come in.

from Huminsect The ardor a suture a wake We shook the bones we carried your leaves The song an insect choir a homicidal chanting, stirred algae. Even the grass of a brushstroke developed a hankering After sex we washed the parts, we parted Rubbing alcohol handshake, my shower curtain. Later your remains on the freeway, disco fries and milkshakes. Later your phone booth residue, habitual larvae jumping.


Spotlessness. NATHAN MASSERANG

A woman kisses an Andy Warhol screen print and the lipstick she leaves behind causes hysteria. She knew somehow that she loved him without any preexisting context resulting in ungoogleable fame and her love being ripped from his body by a beam of radioactive oxygen. I am feeling myself being torn from you like the cellphone in your pocket. I ram my face against your thigh as you walk. I prefer my face against yours, talking rather than the subtle tapping of fingers and the furious rubbing away of smudges. We are close yet only unavoidably so.


Spotted. NATHAN MASSERANG

Two douchebags see each other from across a club and strike up a conversation, immediately falling in love with each other and the mirrored image of themselves and through a series of interrelated movie references they manage to end up at one of their homes and they watch adult swim and touch genitals and giggle and decide that they are probably going to get married in a very large ceremony and reception and give all their friends bags of five Jordan almonds as favors and years later they adopt a few white children from a European country and raise them alright despite being raised by douchebags and those kids put their parents in a home and they die together. And I am at their funeral crying and wishing that I was one of those douchebags.


Sausage Spectacle | ANDY OZIER


Normsy BEN FAMA

I didn’t know you were such a normsy.You don’t even know who Joy Division is. And you always like the boring part of museums. I didn’t know you were such a normsy.

Elle I would make out with you hold hands smoke weed etc


July | ANNA MARTEN


Sprung Formal 2013 Contributors LAUREN STOOKEY is 23 years old. She lives and works in Kansas City, Misery with her partner, two rats, and one rat-like dog. She is good at giving eloquent descriptions of beers and can carry eight really heavy grocery bags to her apartment in one trip. ABBY CARR could not be reached as she is inconsolable over the loss of her

beautiful, majestic Previa. SARAH JEAN ALEXANDER is a writer from Baltimore who spends her time editing the online magazines Parlor & Shabby Doll House, working at Publishing Genius Press, and eating a lot of pickles. DILLON J. WELCH is a writer from Southern New Hampshire. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, PANK, Red Lightbulbs & others. His chapbook, I Fall in Love with Every Attractive Woman I Meet, is forthcoming from NAP (spring 2013). He is Poetry Co-Editor for the online quarterly, Swarm. Find him at: http://ratrapss.tumblr.com. CHUCK YOUNG is a failed musician living in his hometown. He works a day job, edits at theNewerYork, husbands one wife and dads two kids. He can be reached at chuck@theneweryork.com. TEAL WILSON was born in the Southwest, moved to the Midwest. She is a Virgo,

year of the horse. She is a loving sister, daughter, and mother (to one big dog). She has a degree in printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute. She enjoys flavored toothpicks and a rich cabernet sauvignon. ABELEINE THROCKMORTON I$ OVER YOU. SHE HAS BONED TOO

MANY SQUIDS. IF YOU STEAL HER HANDS, SOMETIMES ONE WILL DIE. DIE. DIE. DID YOU HAVE A NEW PEC? NO. PECS ARE FOR WOOING,YES? NO, PECS ARE FOR LONG, DANGEROUS AMERICANS. CUDDLE WITH ME. LOVE, A.T. BRITTANY FICKEN (b. Cedar Rapids, IA) is a performance artist, photographer, and editor based in Kansas City, Missouri. Brittany is in the process of achieving her BFA in Photography and Art History at the Kansas City Art Institute. http:// brittanyficken.com. ANNA KAMERER is a mixed media artist living and working in the world.

Despite the world being terrible she remains optimistic that there is still a place for beauty and poetry within it. www.annakamerer.com.


RACHEL BENSON sometimes makes art and sometimes writes things, she sometimes lives in Brighton, UK but sometimes not. MALORY WARD loves being outside on a beautiful day. When she is making work she tries to keep a sense of humor about its seriousness. PIOTR GWIAZDA is the author of two books of poetry, Messages (2012) and Gagarin Street (2005). His translation of Grzegorz Wróblewski’s volume of prose poems Kopenhaga is forthcoming from Zephyr Press. NICK STURM is the author of a number of chapbooks including with Wendy Xu, I Was Not Even Born (Coconut) and with Carrie Lorig, Nancy and The Dutch (NAP). His first book, How We Light, will be out from H_NGM_N this summer. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida. STEPHEN O’TOOLE is The Post-Ono Eel. JACLYN SENNE received her BFA with a concentration in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2011. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and exhibits her work throughout the Midwest. Utilizing the language of abstraction, Jaclyn’s paintings and writing investigate recreational space found in the suburban environment and its corresponding communities. Often her imagery and references include the overlap and simultaneous use of athletic fields, golf courses, tennis courts, country clubs, pools, driveways, and backyards. These constructed and displaced landscapes then act as platforms for evidence of familiar social interaction, which take on the form of styrofoam coolers, triangle flags, garage doors, and confetti. MARCUS SLEASE was born in Portadown, N. Ireland. His latest books are the novella The House of Zabka (a bizarro postmodern fairy tale from Poland), and a book of erotic and conceptual poetry from South Korea entitled Mu (so) Dream (window) from Poor Claudia. He lives in London and teaches English as a foreign language. He is working on his first novel: Lucy Queen of the Pirates. Stuff happens at The House of Zabka: www.marcusslease.tumblr.com. NIKA WINN enjoys reading tales of talking animals and nonsensical rhymes. She

is a painter who dabbles in stop-motion animation and appreciates the comical side of things. TYLER CAIN LACY is a New Mexican living in Chicago. More of his work can

be found, or is forthcoming, in Caliban, Columbia Poetry Review, E·ratio, elimae, and Otoliths, among others.


“NICKI DOO” BLANCHARD is what you get when you put a kindergartener

in art school, Girl Scouts, and Miami, Florida...and they never really leave. Now a senior in illustration at KCAI, she is equally passionate about making pretty things, making the world a better place, and making mojitos. JESSICA CORNELISON comes from a small rural town in mid-Missouri. Animals have been a key interest since childhood and she frequently interprets them into her illustrations. JESSI WILSON was the managing editor of this sf, but she also puts words together on her own time as a kcai double major in graphic design and creative writing. before that, she grew up in tulsa, oklahoma, where she spent a lot of time backstage and making pictures and stories for the city newspaper. she likes kansas city an awful lot and intends to stick around. ADAM CLAY is the author of A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World (Milkweed

Editions, 2012) and The Wash (Parlor Press, 2006). A third book of poems, Stranger, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. He co-edits TYPO Magazine and lives in Kentucky. J. VICTORIA TERRELL is a Missouri-based illustrator who enjoys drawing silly, sexy, spooky things. She is very fond of dogs. Her art can be found at http://jvtart. tumblr.com. MATT HART is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle(H_ NGM_N Books, 2013). A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL. STACY KIDD’S poems have appeared in journals including Boston Review, Colorado Review, Columbia, Eleven Eleven,The Iowa Review, National Poetry Review, and Witness, among others. She is also the author of two recent chapbooks: A man in a boat in the summer (Beard of Bees Press, 2011) and About Birds (Dancing Girl Press, 2011) as well as the forthcoming book of poetry Red House Over Yonder (National Poetry Review Press, 2013). She is currently finishing her PhD in English from the University of Utah and teaches at Tulsa Community College. LAEDAN GALICIA is a Kansas City-based artist who creatively solves problems through illustrative design. Graffiti/mural culture became a key influence in the development of Laedan’s style along with his Mexican culture and traditions.


BRIAN CLIFTON doesn’t try to forget things. It just sort of happens, like that time he forgot to wear shoes to graduation. He’s really sorry about this. Really, he is. PAUL SIEGELL is the author of three books of poetry: wild life rifle fire, jambandbootleg and Poemergency Room. He is a senior editor at Painted Bride Quarterly, and has contributed to Black Warrior Review, Redivider and many other fine journals. Kindly find more of Paul’s work – and concrete poetry t-shirts – at “ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL” (paulsiegell.blogspot.com). MILES FERMIN is from Texas. He loves going to school in Kansas City. His favorite restaurant is Fusion Buffet. He really likes anime. He really likes expensive clothes. His father served in the military for 23 years. He hasn’t decided yet if that has been a good or bad thing in his life. His parents got divorced while he was in college, so that’s a weird thing. He loves his school and he loves his friends because they are all the smartest people around. Shouts out to Ross, Christian, Pat, Dean, Pat again, Ivan, Brett, Madeline, Maegan. Shouts out to everyone else he forgot. Shouts out to the Bohemian crew. Shouts out to all the fallen homies. #peace ALLI WARREN is the author of numerous chapbooks, including Grindin (Lew

Gallery), Acting Out (Editions Louis Wain), and Well-Meaning White Girl (Mitzvah Chaps). In the fall, City Lights will publish her first book, Here Come the Warm Jets. Alli lives in Oakland. MELISSA ELEFTHERION holds a MLIS from San Jose State University and an MFA from Mills College. Her chapbook huminsect is forthcoming from dancing girl press. She blogs at a poetlibrarian.wordpress.com. NATHAN MASSERANG lives in Chicago. He is the author of Ellen Degeneres, an ebook available via Habitat Publishing. His work is peppered about the Internet on various social media. ANDY OZIER was born in Kansas, studied illustration in Kansas City. Andy

doesn’t want to stay in the Midwest. Andy will continue to fetishize meat. BEN FAMA is the author of New Waves, Aquarius Rising, and the artist book Mall Witch. His work appears in The Brooklyn Rail, Action Yes, Jubilat, notnostrums, LIT, Poor Claudia, Denver Quarterly, Maggy, and on the Best American Poetry Blog. He co-edits Wonder and lives in New York City. ANNA MARTEN is currently a junior in the illustration department at KCAI. Her

work explores the quirky and revealing narrative that stems from a single image.


KCAI Lil' Sprung Formal: Issue 8  

The annual student-produced literary magazine of the Kansas City Art Institute

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