Sweet Tooth Issue Two: Body Politic

Page 1

SWEETTOOTH BODYPOLITIC 2023

COVER ART: MAYA BAUM

SWEET TOOTH ISSUE TWO

Tooth 2023
work in this issue is property of its original creator(s).
BODY POLITIC
Copyright Sweet
All
Read with care. Keep it real.

EDITOR'S NOTE

I return often to the famous image from Hobbes’ Leviathan, the man with a body made up of hordes of citizens, the king as his head. We are in the belly of the beast. We are the belly of the beast. We are the beast and we are what it feeds on. But Hobbes was a psycho freak, and aside from this visual metaphor had a lot of stupid ideas. The state is a person. The corporation is a person. Stop being mean to them. Whatever.

You actually are a person You are a person in a body You can move that body to parties and weird basements and warehouse raves. You can move it in a crowd of others. You can move it down the street in a protest march.

It took a while to get this issue out, partly because I got an office job with no natural sunlight where I looked at a screen all day. Hopelessness is lazy. The work in this issue makes me want to move my body into the middle of the street to block traffic, move it to hold someone I love, move it because I am alive. So are you.

This issue is being released as the Israeli bombardment of Gaza has revealed how willing many are to excuse violence when it’s committed by the state. I hope that when you read these poems, you can imagine a world where people are free to move their bodies without borders, and to be safe and free wherever their home is. I hope when you are not reading these poems you use your body, your freedom, your safety to advocate for that of others. As our comrades in Myanmar have taught us, it’s not that the revolution will succeed, it’s that the revolution must succeed

Welcome to Body Politic.

Love and solidarity,

Megan

Elisha Aflalo

super bowl commercial 2015

i’m like totally the kate upton of this carl’s jr i’m eating a quarter pounder with bacon and extra cheese with my tits out on the table i let hot grease drip into the canyon between them and land on the scratched up, golden star like a perfectly crafted set it’s called ‘free advertising’ i looked it up this morning i rehearsed licking sauce from the corners of my lips in my bathroom mirror before putting on the push up bra i would have never bought pre superbowl 2015

that year i also dyed my hair blonde and started describing everything as so fuckable

i.e. the cashier that can’t stop staring at the way my mouth wraps around the straw of my diet mountain dew is so fuckable if i were one of the girls in the carl’s jr. super bowl commercial i bet he’d jerk off to me on late night tv

i’m only like 17 burgers away from being the next big thing and i'm getting so good at chewing and spitting and chewing and spitting and never swallowing because technically i’m a vegetarian that’s called method acting

i pretend i’m sitting under a set of hot lights i wonder if the director of those carl’s jr. commercials has to try really hard not to get horny on set or if that’s like totally what he gets paid for

on slow days i let the manager sit across from me like he’s a casting agent and it’s my breakthrough moment i stare at my almost-reflection in his oily, slicked back hair or in the slight sweat beading up on his upper lip (he licks it clean) i accentuate my moans and the way my chest swells like i really love every bite i don’t have to ask how i’m doing the sweat gathers into a mustache the mustache is licked away

i’m a very pretty girl i smile at the dogs barking up my short skirt on my walk to and from the carl’s jr i let the greaseball in front of me in line feel like a man by letting him buy my lunch i bat my eyelashes over my fuck me eyes, i’m a very pretty girl and so easily digestible

so all natural i’m so all beef the way a real american burger should be i’m so mouth wateringly juicy i’m so fatty in all the right places i’m so hard to bite and easy to swallow i’m so hot and ready i’m so horned and steady i’m so ripe and bready so red and naughty so sticky so sweaty so rich so heady so ready so so so so so i’m so hot

Samson Furlong Tighe

erotic fantasy in which the poet owns a home

I’m so hard for the housing market, my pussy is wet for a bedsit. I’m barely legal, but I want you to pin me against the property ladder, lay me down on a nice deposit. Show me freedom. Show me security. Show me liberalisation. Look, I can spell your credit score with my tongue Say, O god, the market feels so good there, maybe move a bit to the right.

I call out his pseudonym. Consider the integrity of every desk in the office. There’s always the scratchy floor. But what’s rug burn at the end of the world? Criminalise hypotheticals: pleasure for the past is false gospel. Good luck to you, Manus or Michael. Good luck to all boys who employ tactical use of emoji! Good luck to all men who answer to their slant-rhymes; who growl at cars and bother sleeping babes, but always crawl home with the Other Woman’s femur between their teeth.

Alibi Samson Furlong Tighe

Waiting For Snow in Los Angeles

By the time we got to the house I wanted dinner; hunger scooped my insides out. Got diagnosed with ovarian cysts Wish those were scooped too, though the pang just below my pelvis implies otherwise. Lately my body has felt puffy, overstuffed. Swollen with infestation and rot.

When we hiked Glendale Peak yesterday a bloated sun sliced through the clouds. You could see the ozone vanishing. A cyst ruptured in my womb and I woke to you above me, weeping. Like the atmosphere, my body has limits. Everything mutates so much nowadays I either want to never eat so I’m imperceptible or I want to eat myself to death. Dinner was something unremarkable, like PB&J. I could only stomach a couple bites In the the ER I asked the doctor, When will I feel better? When it snows, he said. When it snows in Los Angeles.

Suzanne Peguero

Ava Chapman

Click & Drag

click & drag

me across the bed, across the states, across the train, a cross blurrier blurred blurs bury your sins in the old universe

listen to your child-voice on tape years later click & drag the video to trash

click & drag the cigarette to a better brand bland tasteless thing

bite the blood clot & tell me you can taste the pain

there is no exact word for what i am so we generalize

Umang Kalra

GOD GIRL

[PULLING THE IVY OFF MY OWN GRAVE —

so my death is forever a recent occurrence.] They are telling us again about how Jupiter will only be this significantly positioned once in another hundred years. They are telling us again how the sky will only be this shade of lilac for you. I made it grow into peach-clouds for us to text each other about; what’s it like in New York? I’m drinking rose lemonade and wondering what your voice sounds like, I’m pouring honey on French toast and offering you some in a dream. In an alternate universe, you fucked me in the Mediterannean and that is the only salt it has ever known. I once climbed a wall I shouldn’t have and then we got boba tea, slick with sweat and dripping of impermanence: everything is different back home, even the way the dust settles, even the way the light dims I am 1/16th forgotten by almost everyone who has ever loved me and I am wondering if you know I don’t have a middle name. I am collecting petals off the ground in my house and kneeling by last night’s candles, scraping wax off the carpet. I am packing my clothes away for a visit home, the first in a year, have you ever wondered why I sound the way I do, have you ever fucked a diaspora poet in a manic episode, have you ever done ketamine and begged to be held, have you ever told me how much I mean to you?

Umang Kalra

CRUSH CRUSH

ivy growing over my bottle of beer as i text u to say did u see this picture of a deer eating a pumpkin in a forest? did u know i hate halloween? did u know i am carving out bits of me for you to fuck one day. rotten flowers spill across the floor & i wonder if u would notice if i wanted u

i am holding a gun between my ribs, warm like our breaths at the afterparty, are u coming? just for me? i can drown u without the wires interrupting us. forests grow in figs across the ocean, lilac abundance collecting rind for us to eat. back home, once, i climbed the stairs of a mosque, stately in all its medievalness, little kids warning us not to, stones as high as you blocking the way & i smoked a cigarette of ivy at the top.

shaded from everything but the fucking algorithm, i thought of you even then, even in the scorching sun, even in the wrong ocean, even when you didn’t know my name.

Madeleine Bazil

Hypothesis

Suppose I pour us wine; suppose you cook us lentils. Suppose we kiss in the stairwell of my friend’s party.

Suppose I stand behind you at the piano bench, turn the sheets of Dvořák in time with your cadence, four hands in tandem motion. Suppose I know the contents of your cupboards and what you think of your family.

Suppose you sit me on your lap, my face in the cleft of your left shoulder, your fingers reaching inside me.

Suppose this feels primordial to you too; suppose I want to be possessed; you want the same from me.

I'm fucking sick

My throat is a forest fire. It’s sandpaper-rough, porous, pissed off at all the men I’ve shoved down it and all the sorrys I’ve pulled out of it. I’ve taken men like nectar from the dirtiest flowers in the dirtiest fields. I’ve taken men against my will & against my better judgment. I’ve taken men to places you can’t come back from. I’ve taken men to the STD clinic for a shot in the ass & back home again, to the public restroom & the private steam room. I’m saying I’ve sucked dick everywhere, so my throat is punishing me. It won’t let me eat or sleep or read or stand, no, I. can’t. stand. it. for. another. second. so I’m making a deal with God, I’m Fausting: fix my throat and I won’t waste another second. Fix my throat and I’ll superglue my hands to all those unread poetry books on my desk. Fix my throat and I’ll headbutt the gym, pound the concrete, get my blood pressure pumping Fix my throat and I’ll answer every text, submit to every journal, go to every open mic. I’ll lose every inhibition. I’ll still fuck a billion men a year but I’ll start getting tested monthly. I’ll drop the pretense, I’ll be a good literary citizen, I’ll stop stealing all my best words & ideas & poems, I’ll be true to myself, I will, even if I never get published. I mean it! Just let me gobble up some chips & salsa / drop a glob on my sweatpants / rush to the sink / dab a dirty rag soaked in soapy water / create another infinite stain Let me inhale a cane-sugar coke / down the wrong pipe / cough-syrup spray all over my Macbook / sprint to the store / buy a ridiculous bag of rice / drop it in there for days. Esophagus, uvula, lymph nodes, why are you doing all that? Don’t you know by now that I can inflict my own pain? I can hurt myself in ways you can’t even imagine, if only you’ll let me.

Previously published in Sage Cigarettes

Cara Mooney 212-D-FOCUS

I never knew much about cars, but if you were a car you’d be a ford focus? I’m taking shite I know so just focus on me and ignore what I say Call when your outside, park there then come inside.

Come inside.

Trying to park your car in mine. I’ve only had one Jameson and coke with a squeeze of lime. Under the covers, sexual tension, box room, can I ask you a question? If you are a ford focus and we are two souls conjoined by the same breaths of pollution, the backseat broken seatbelts, the window wipers soaking eachother up Am I a ford focus?

Come inside.

Stop distracting me I need to focus. Just come inside we can talk and mould together like two bikes, dykes, alike.

Come inside.

Jaden Morton

Party scene

The music is loud, so you lean in close, cup my ears, say “Queers used to have illegal weddings in basements and shit, can you imagine, planning an illegal wedding, what a fucking riot”

I imagine us in matching tuxedos, our friends tying blue streamers and paper moons to the pipework, a two-tiered cake with buttercream roses softening in the stale air.

The heavy bass is inhaled by a concrete dancefloor you kiss me against the wall and the night starts leaking out of me time is moving like fingers inspecting a flesh wound

take me home to a voluntary life of pork rind stewed in gravy and cheap wine in cheap glasses, limbs spread over the kitchen table, with the blinds fully closed

Why is the Stanley Cup So Big

and the hole in your body that killed you so small?

Cassie McDaniel

Alanna Offield

Lindsay, Britney, and Paris

I walk to Paris's house near Marlborough Park off the Lisburn Road, bottles clinking in a carrier bag. It's raining, but I insist on not wearing a coat because I spent £30 on this dress, and I want people to compliment me on it. Paris hums softly as she curls my hair around the hot ceramic barrel. Lindsay is the kind of girl who does her makeup seated on the floor in front of a full-length mirror. She tucks the shirt label back into a stranger's shirt. When we are together, I want her and everyone to feel like the most important people in the world. Britney hangs prisms in all the windows, leaving little rainbows across the new-build carpet. She wakes up early to meditate, water her plants and smoke a cigarette on the balcony. We are that friend group with impossibly clear skin and wind-blown hair that makes us seem mysterious from some angles, dangerous in others. We grew up having sleepovers, telling secrets, and trying not to laugh too loud I watch Paris, Britney, and Lindsay walk into a shop and know they can find their size. They don't even have to consider it, they belong here and everywhere. We dance every weekend in low light with glitter on our hands, and it doesn't hurt. Lindsay or Britney, or Paris visit me for the day and complain about how long the Translink 238 takes, and I tell them the story about how I accepted £20 from a smelly old man to sit next to me and stare at me for an hour. No talking, no touching, money upfront. He admired me all the way to Banbridge and left without saying goodbye.

remembering at the Cheeseboard Bakery

remembering at the Cheeseboard Bakery my unbuttoning your jeans your slight sound— after, politics you slapped me hard still I have these thoughts does your palm burn still?

Forthcoming from IN THE PACE OF THE PATH by Alan Bern

Alan Bern

I am thinking about you naked

Or rather, I am thinking about you thinking about me naked, for I know my naked body is in your naked mind within your naked body.

I am thinking about being naked with you, within you, without you. I want my outsides inside your insides, and your outsides inside my insides, and your naked outsides against my own.

I am without you, my own, and being naked while thinking about the other thinking about the other naked is all we can do for the time being, without the other’s without. You are already within me

as I am you, naked mind in your naked or not naked body, inside or outside, within a world kept from mine by bodies of water, that stop our bodies crashing into each other like continents

making up for lost time.

Being / Naked Finlay Worrallo

the Reverse Decision

we throw it in reverse from the curbside parking spot the clinic does not keep a lot I peer over my shoulder all the way home gradually your hands slip off of your abdomen and into your pockets

at home you meet my eyes as you slowly ascend the stairs relief then nothing at all I moonwalk to the kitchen take a beer bottle out of the recycling and tilt my head back the bottle fills in a whirl

upstairs we have something like sex but my member is sucking it back inside of me a joyless vacuum you are returning my kisses back to me with your eyes open I put them back where they came from storing them for later and suddenly I am not hungry

On campus I am extracting the embers from the tip of your cigarette I place it back in the row and seal the pack I back up, my eyes never leaving, even after you turn away

Sam J. Grudgings

MISTAKING CLOSURE SEX FOR RECONCILIATION SEX

We're fucking! In the years of loss we have left & come back with other people's body parts & the architecture of our chests changes to accommodate fresh perspectives. In the moments of clarity you ask gently if you can absolve yourself completely & curl into my body. In the after, having harvested our need, we will agree to swap spit but demand back the missing weeks & so it will never last. We're fucking! The difference between holding onto headboards or interlocking our fingers, This is a prayer our mouths make for the missing churches our legs become - tesselating in the most nostalgic of puzzles of absent congregations. We’re fucking & this is a crossover episode where everyone has to play the part. Unwittingly inviting our history into our skin. Uncovering archaeology of us. Unveiling each other's bones & pirouettes. There’s a studio audience. They’re marvelling at the stunt work. Body doubles committed to becoming mountains. We're fucking! Both needing to be filled. We're fucking. Waiting eagerly for the fall of empires despite all our momentary telling me this time it won't come. We're fucking, we’re fucking! we’re fucking; we’re fucking & you're telling me I need to forgive myself we're fucking? But it's complicated. No! We're fucking with gravity; composure; the salt of our language making tender work of falling then pulling out of that particular ego death. We're fucking with gravity watching We're helping universal constants explore their marriage Strong force & time are in bed with us. We are fucking. We are making space for ourselves in the corridors of each other. We are asking for a moment to sluice our throats with ice water. We are making treaties to the embassies of our want. We are. We are. We are. We are post coital, touching tender debating if gravity is a god. We’re fucking! You are talking of prostate milking, leather & not feeling like you can breathe except when being choked There is stubble rash on your chin & thigh. You are smiling in the exact language of missing. You are asking kindly & showing very clearly exactly how you liked to be touched now & time is so fucking impatient. We're fucking. On & off. We are asking each other for a break & to switch positions. You be the cage

& I be the capture. You be the stage & I’ll be the actor. You be certain & I’ll be the fracture. We’re fucking. Wristwork at the ready. We’re fucking. SSRIs telling me we really need to figure out what this is beyond the immediate. We’re fucking. Telling me you love what I represent. Telling me that we are fucking if only we knew what that meant anymore & asking with our bodies if this distance can tender two years worth of unmade beds & empty windows. We’re fucking. You are asking me if there's gravity from all this closure & I am complaining about all that needing damage & the unwritten ritual of our hands. We're wearing our old skin. We are fucking - bodies full of bite templates, yielding to familiarity. We're hoping for some form of revelation. We’re fucking. We’re fucking. But then you apologise for getting carried away & say it was a force of habit. We’re fucking. Say it was a lapse. We’re fucking. Say it was only temporary. These things so often are. We’re fucking & it's not that these things hurt more or less this long after, just that I never allowed myself to feel then when I should have done. We are fucking & trying to find respite from how after so long our bodies simply lose the shorthand of empty. We are fucking & trying not to cry. You are clasping my ears to the side of my head, looking right in my eyes & yelling something indecipherable but knowing your predilection for ownership & never letting go of the dead boy I became I think you are saying you are loved you are loved you are loved & all of this doesn't matter because you are mine, you are mine, you are mine

Jennie Barnes

Urgent

I want to put everything you eat into your mouth with my fingers and have you lick it off to have cooked it naked while you kiss my neck and witchcraft plays from my phone. And to have grown the tomatoes from seeds in soil in my yard so I’d have some claim to the energy I demand from you.

There is no time to think about convenience haven’t you heard the whole world is burning? Why make love in ten minutes when it could be an hour? Let’s melt with the earth gloriously If living is the goal, and the smoke is pouring through the windows, what do I have to say for you to choke me first?

Anyways, I couldn’t stand you sleeping on the other side of your vast bed. How many times can I hold you? Wrap your limbs into mine. Put your head on my chest. Let’s disrobe from existing alone, together if you’re going to sleep with me, sleep with me.

Upturned sink by the front door, 15 minutes’ walk from the offices of investment banks

Don’t look at me like that, You had your time and now You get to be retired. Most of us have to keep going Until our eyes are empty And our throats grate Against the sounds coming Up out of them.

You want to keep going

Until you’re rust?

To have people run their finger Across your surface And have parts of you Come up with it?

Be grateful for the ease With which you can detach.

Joe Molander

Ivan de Monbrison

My sole corpse

There is neither night nor day anymore we have ceased to be ourselves a long time ago there is this forest this forest the trees just look like trees we sometimes hear the sound of a bird there is this forest immense in my mind this forest whose trees never move there are animals they hide and above the forest there is the roof of the clouds the roof of the clouds which goes around the world I sit down on the ground I make a drawing in the dust with a finger a very simple drawing a drawing which does not represent me because I do not know what I look like it is a drawing made mechanically by my mind finally actually my brain because that I have no mind I erase the drawing which was not my face as I cannot see my image because there is no mirror I look at my own hand I see the hand of a primate it has no hair it is weak it is small it has five fingers five appendages to climb trees so I try to climb on a tree but I can’t I fall back I break my arm and here you are walking in the cemetery inside the city where nobody speaks ever your friend is in the grave he has lost his sense of time tomorrow I will go fishing severed heads in the nearby river and I’ll put them in a net in order to eat them what’s your name ? who are you ? where do you come from ? what are you talking about ? I can’t hear what you say I don’t hear the sound of your voice scream ! scream in my ear tear my ear out with your teeth eat it here I have now a missing ear I walk with only one ear there is just a hole in the head on the other side and if you put a straw and if you look through the straw you can see my brain my electric brain that works on its own like a machine in its box like a man moving forward on an endless road while a woman gives birth to a child who does not look like her a child who does not look like anything a child who is a stone a round stone and the woman gives birth to a second stone then a third then a fourth here is the woman giving birth to four stones she is going to call the stones Pierre Paul Jacques and Jean she is going to baptize them in the name of Christ the Greek word Christ meaning here some sort of weird kind of cross with an ape-like shape the cross that is to say the invisible head of a dead man two arms a trunk without skull because a cross has no skull a cross has never been beheaded and the beheaded Christ head was left in the desert sands to the little meatworms for them to eat his brain it is somewhere in the sand there is this

skull but it is not that of so-called being that never existed it is that of the first man of the first head of the first monkey and the first fool to come from the first asshole now there are roads that go nowhere there are cars on the highways that go nowhere they go so fast nowhere they go so fast they go towards a target like rifle bullets they will cross the target and come out on the other side then the car will explode but me when I fuck with a woman I feel like a dog but it’s not an impression when I fuck with a woman I’m a dog and the goal is to turn back into a dog again because I have the brain of a dog I know I talk about the brain all the time but it’s important the brain so I fuck with a woman and I have the brain of a dog and she has the brain of a female dog and here we are fucking like two animals two animals my cock in her pussy her body sweating sperm piss shit I cover my body with shit and my body covered with shit I finally look like a human being before what was I ? I was a ridiculous puppet dressed in ridiculous clothes bought in ridiculous stores from ridiculous people in a pathetic society that goes on pretending to exist pretending to think pretending or not to fuck yourself in the ass you fuck yourself in the ass to death here that’s all that matters fucking each other to death in the ass then… then what… then we’ve invented the perfect tool we’ll drop a thermonuclear bomb and the thermonuclear bomb will wipe out humanity off the surface of this planet forever Amen

We’re Storage Bins and They Don’t Where to Put Us

as a pair of vacuous organelles we roam about the floor of this dumb party in search of our fill they’re perturbed by the ease of our laughter and cast wary glances, we creep towards one another; reaching over the room’s chasms, the crowd full of cups membranes rum gin and wine close in on themselves, clutching dearly to some nucleus made frail by our queer little swim, I hear music in the fibers twirled fingers; who made the rule you couldn’t just lie down in the floor after being so exhausted, bored banter meat entangled, a plate of warm spaghetti curdling balking at the straightness of everything, let’s simmer, welcome to our mess of one another, leaking out all over the place, an affront to their open faces they all wanted to be entertained now this upset; what to do with our mess, let’s you and me die and be reborn in one sitting they bring Tupperware and empty shoeboxes, one grabs a pot and cracked dustpan, big-gulp plastic Styrofoam and Pyrex glass next, vintage corning ware rust-stained misused, our sauce clings waiting to each scrape, spatula, wooden spoon, steel wool scrub, we’re not coming off, we’ve copped this place, being ourselves things of holding—grand vessels for their shame guilts anguishes drunk monarchs wishing to savor each full drop of me and you, or pieris rapae, crushed and barely fluttering under their own weight, tongues ready to sample our nectar,

us emptied bins dream of something else, we wait to be carried away, contents scooped shoveled by our fellow guests at the behest of the host—when they put us away, I want it to be near a dumpster, to be rinsed with sweet rot and trash discarded returned to the earth via landfill, wrapped shielded webbed with mycelium and trans-microbial, no more cell death, no more entropy invoked by their voices, or looks, a sink for all their sorrows, we’re fungible spores now, earth-meats swimming, we don’t fit, we don’t fit so we sprawl, our roots travel the stars

when you wank do you think of them inside you hole stretched as you beg for their length their girth faster harder fuck yeah like that feel each thrust of their body as you imagine it prime meat slapping the slab of your ass their name on the tip of your tongue like a raindrop in drought how long have you wanted this them the blessed butch of their bodies the weight of their hand around your throat did you not think that I could hold you like that did you not know that I am a monsoon longing to pour

Jealousy
Kit Isherwood

Comprehending Nothing Before Eventual Transcendence

All in all, the days with the family were a success The kitchen facilities at the hostel very excellent. We went to the aquarium where I had little in the way of expectations but was favorably impressed and would certainly now recommend it. The fish and chips we consumed in the harbor were a bit disappointing, invariably greasy.

A small piece of batter the size of a tooth dropped on my freshly washed pullover and left a large grease ring penetrated through to my shirt and even my t-shirt underneath. Soccer game tomorrow in Quincy of all places.

Colin James

Court Ludwick

I Wish to Crawl Inside the Body of a 150-Ton Blue Whale

I want my palms to touch the bristles. I wonder what the bone sieve will filter out with the rest of the dead Fevered, foster-parent of something like bloated underbelly Corpse stomach is filled with acid for a little while longer so I fall asleep in the lull. Nice like violence you get used to and I pull everything over my eyes like a comfort blanket. Is this weird to tell a stranger? Is it weird for you to listen? I never learned if skeletons float but I’d much rather know when you sink. Most days I wonder if my lung is collapsing, air filling the space outside of so much fading red, air building up, air putting pressure on, lung dying, breath nearly. Gone—the breath inside its great body. Wreckage, the blush on her remembered face. They say you can bite a finger off like you bite a carrot but I tried on mine but it didn’t work and liars, liars all of them. I walk the shores looking for a carcass. I see none. I crawl in none. I bitterly run my tongue over gritted teeth. Sand on taste buds. Burn my tongue on purpose so I stop tasting you. Tined throat. Backwash in our shared cup. Girls cannot walk the street alone at night. Everyone knows everything about this so just stop. For once, I wish to be afraid of something other than my own body.

Lucas Burkett

Billionaire Poetics

I'm calling today to raise awareness about sad billionaires.

Did you know a billionaire dies every 82 years?

#BillionaireLivesMatter Start the conversation! Don't loot a private museum of lobster caviar frittatas!

They're saving it for a special occasion!

Stay hungry! Stay foolish! Stay inside your urinal.

Now bow your head and beg the Lord's blessing. Previously

in Clockwise Cat and Mid-Level Management
published

The mechanics of a functional body in dysfunctional times

I eat because it’s something to do with my hands, I smoke so that I go outside sometimes, I stop my jokes halfway before they land keep em all here laughing, in my mind.

I like myself when there’s no one else around, I used to be happier than I am now, I cannot cope when there’s nothing different, turns me into something that I isn’t.

Frankie Pink Lips [above] Back [previous] William Viet Hoang Reynolds Smear II Chloe Moore
C3llp#0n3 Roi Yves Villadiego
Merlin Flower rivet
do gape Merlin Flower
Carolina Campos Hunger

MY BODY IS STARS AND DANCE

Starface Alia [previous]

Elisha Aflalo is a poet and multi-media artist currently based in San Francisco, California. Elisha’s work focuses on exploring the effects of the sexualization of violence and commodification of the body. Her practice consists of exploring these themes through multiple mediums in order to process and archive her own experience with the human condition.

Sam Furlong Tighe is a writer from Dublin. They are studying for an MA in Poetry at the Seamus Heaney Center, where they were awarded the Irish Chair of Poetry Student Prize. Their work has been published in Skylight47, Abridged, Banshee, Sonder, and elsewhere. They were selected for Poetry Ireland: Introductions by Tara Bergin in 2023.

Suzanne Peguero is a poet living in Syracuse, New York. Their work has been published on HAD. You can find them on Instagram and Twitter at @poetryslut420.

Ava Chapman is a final year student of English Literature and History at Trinity College Dublin. She co-edits the literary magazine Icarus & can’t wait for summer.

Umang Kalra is an Indian writer. She is the founding EIC of Violet Indigo Blue, Etc. She is a twotime Best of the Net Anthology finalist and a Pushcart nominee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Protean, Strange Horizons, Mizna, and elsewhere.

Madeleine Bazil is a multidisciplinary artist and writer interested in memory, intimacy, and the ways we navigate worlds — real and imagined Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Meniscus Journal, West Trade Review, Oyster River Pages, Axe Factory Press, and elsewhere.

Thomas Hobohm lives in New York but grew up in Texas. They are the Web Editor at The Adroit Journal, and their work has appeared in Poetry Online, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Astrolabe. Find them at https://www thomashobohm com/

Cara Mooney is a writer and performer originating from good aul Dublin 1. Her poetry is inspired by her experiences growing up in Dublin, with themes such as social class, intimacy, and her love for women. Cara can also be seen on stage with theatre group Bridging The Gap.

Jaden Morton is a writer and designer based in Nottingham, he has been featured in Left Lion magazine, the NCS writers club and Olney mag. He is also a collaborator on NottsTV Bookclub where he shares hot takes about the latest literary releases.

Cassie McDaniel has published Pushcart-nominated poetry and fiction in several journals in the US, Canada and England. She lived in England and Ontario for more than a decade before resettling in her hometown north of Orlando. Say hello at www.cassiemcdaniel.com and @cassiebegins.

Alanna Offield is a disabled, queer, Chicana from New Mexico now living in the north of Ireland. Her poetry has appeared in Abridged, Cyphers, Rust+Moth, Porridge Mag, and other publications. She completed an MA in Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the owner of Seaside Books, an independent online and traveling bookshop.

Retired children’s librarian Alan Bern is a published/exhibited photographer. He has won awards for his poems and stories, has published three books of poetry, has a hybrid memoir forthcoming from UnCollected Press, and performs with dancer/choreographer Lucinda Weaver as PACES. Lines & Faces, his press with artist/printer Robert Woods: linesandfaces.com.

Finlay Worrallo is a queer cross-arts writer studying Modern Languages at Newcastle University. He writes poetry, prose and scripts, and is always up for experimenting with new forms. His work is published in Crossways Magazine, VIBE, Queerlings, 14 and the Emma Press' anthology Dragons of the Prime: Poems about Dinosaurs.

Kris Huelgas writes poetry about ghosts. Kris' work has been featured online and in print in many fine places such as TERSE.journal, Drunk Monkeys, and Alt Milk Magazine. He lives in Los Angeles, where it only rains when you least expect it. Catch him on Twitter and Instagram @krswellgs.

Sam J Grudgings is a queer poet from Bristol shortlisted for the Outspoken Poetry Prize 2020. His debut collection The Bible II, was released by Verve Poetry Press in 2021 His pamphlet The Nation’s Saddest Love Poems is out later this year with Broken Sleep Books.

Jennie Barnes lives in California. She writes about love and worries about everything. This is her first publication You can follow her on Twitter at @JenniesAlright and Instagram at @JennieLikesYou.

Joe Molander is a writer and journalist who spends most of his time staring at a blank Google Docs. He frequently complains about London, and refuses to leave. His work has appeared in WIRED, i-D, Private Eye and The Fence’s newsletter He insists he is funnier in person

The Ivan de Monbrison is a furry little animal of about 5 inches long which can be found living in some cellars in Paris, France. It's a vegetarian species. The males tend to get bald with a pouch belly growing with age. Snoring loud at night seems to be another behavior of the males, the usefeluness of it still needed to be found, but could be a way to declare to the females that mating is over. With age some males seem to get more and more found of poetry while drooling around the city, drunk at night.

Eric Pitman's writing highlights daily University struggles in queer/nonbinary life, whether navigating trauma/dysphoria, relationships, and/or living with chronic illness. They explore environmental collapse, resistances to bodily commodification, and surreal landscapes that blend ecology and food. When not writing, they teach creative writing at Illinois State, or explore new recipes

Kit Isherwood (he/him) is a queer poet. His poetry has been published in various places, such as Verve, Young Poets Network, Queerlings, The North, Muswell Press, and Magma.

Colin James has a couple of chapbooks of poetry published Dreams Of The Really Annoying from Writing Knights Press and A Thoroughness Not Deprived of Absurdity from Piski's Porch Press and a book of poems, Resisting Probability, from Sagging Meniscus Press.

Court Ludwick is a writer, teacher, and doctoral candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at USD. These Strange Bodies, her debut hybrid nonfiction collection, is forthcoming from ELJ Editions in September 2024. Her poetry, essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in Jet Fuel Review, Oxford Magazine, Cheat River Review, Necessary Fiction, Watershed Review, Eclectica Magazine, Mid-Heaven Magazine, Milk Carton Press, and elsewhere. She is an associate poetry editor at South Dakota Review, and her visual art has most recently shown at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. You can connect with Court on Instagram and Twitter @courtludwick, and on www courtlud com

Lucas Burkett is trying to vibe with the apocalypse but is failing at it. His work has appeared in Fanzine, Twyckenham Notes, Mid-Level Management Literary Magazine, and other venues. He lives in Goshen, Indiana (Stateside) with his wife and their dog.

William Viet Hoang Reynolds (he/ they) is a medicine student in Dublin. When they aren’t stressing about how to fix the medical system you will find them shooting photos or reviewing films on Letterboxd. Follow them on Instagram @william 909 for film photo dumps (when they remember to get rolls developed).

Chloë Moore (she/they) is a Minnesota-based poet and artist. Her work explores queerness, disability, gender, and the environment, and has been published in the Water Stone Review and Chanter literary magazine.

Roi Yves H. Villadiego holds a BA degree in Communication Arts, majoring in Speech Communication from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Currently, he is a sophomore pursuing an MA degree in Art Studies, with a major in Art Theory and Criticism at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Roi learned that artistry comes with a responsibility to wield lenses that can help one in understanding societal issues He further believes that there will come a time for him to share what he wielded through teaching.

Merlin Flower is an independent artist and writer.

Carolina Campos is a biologist making art inbetween working in river ecology and looking for interesting plants and bugs wherever they may appear. Sometimes this is also an inspiration, other times art comes from explorations of feelings or just the joy of making it in and of itself.

Starface Alia is a freshly crowned 18-year old floater that is currently interested in digital art, nonfiction books and making music!

This issue of Sweet Tooth took a while. Thank you to everyone who was patient. Hope you had fun while you were waiting.

Thank you to

Maya Baum, for the perfect cover art, all of our contributors, for your work, and everyone who helped with distribution, for getting this issue into people’s hands.

And thank you, for reading.

COME BACK SOON AND PARTY HARD TIL THEN

For more information about Sweet Tooth , visit our social media @sweettoothpoets or email us sweettoothpoetry@gmail.com

If you are unhappy with the quality of work in this issue we advise you to keep it to yourself or to submit to future issues.

Sweet Tooth is edited by Megan O'Driscoll. She'll see you on the road, probably.

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