Three Poems | by James Pate

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Sister Midnight, Queen Midnight, Red Midnight, Red Queen, Carrion Queen, Attic Queen, Sister Twin, Sister Dusk, Sister Eclipse, Sister Arson, Sister Nero, Queen Red, Queen Blank, Queen Tremor, Sister One, Sister Two, Sister of the Velvet Basements, Queen of the Back-broken Chairs, Queen of the Rabid Statuary, Sister of Fortune, Sister of Grace, Sister of Obscurer Elements, Queen Tarot, Queen Serpent, Queen Mourning, Sister Morning: Continue reading “Three Poems | by James Pate”

Manifesto for Creative Neurodivergence | by Andrea Lambert

As a mentally ill writer and artist? I’m a disability porn star. With an online peepshow window of masturbatory personal essays. Lucky my only sex work is metaphoric. Given my mind is broken, I’m surprised not to have to sell my body. I survive by government Disability benefits and familial patronage. Comfort my shame with art therapy.

College poet friends were consumed by the Portland sex industry. Wipe the Nars Orgasm Blush and Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner off my face? Narrowly escaped stripper stares back. I wrote erotica for San Francisco rent money before that porn site went out of business. Failed even at sex work. Never learned how to work that pole. Missed my window. Is it sad? Continue reading “Manifesto for Creative Neurodivergence | by Andrea Lambert”

Two Poems | by Allison Grayhurst

Surrogate Dharma

I didn’t think I would get lost
or be chained to a contractual victory.
I thought a grain would grow,
become a solid garden. Fires would come, then
firefighters. I would be testifying about
the worth of what survived.
     That is not what happened. I fell prey
to the propaganda of affirmations,
to the volume of control I could contain.
My dream dropped out of me
like a miscarriage. I hoped I could forget:
Tie my shoes, zip up a coat
and kiss the shelter I have. Bridges here and there –
they are not mine to travel.
Vinegar keeps getting injected into my bones,
replacing the marrow with
its potent clarity. Do you see? I am getting older.
It will be over
and I have to be able to say I served well.
My mouth opens and folds like a fledgling wing.
People pass – each one a violin note, a digit, a reluctant
panting pitch. Conversations are ash.
I don’t like living in these elements, my neck
stretched up into the dense middle
of a monsoon. Let me climb,
dragging this dead beast behind me.
Let me live where my father went to school,
on a Himalayan peak.
I am not a petal. My courage is fickle, it fortifies or fades,
dependent each day on mutual obligatory infatuation.
     I can’t keep pretending:
The sun is strong. The night is strong. I am not stronger.
     I am in this hovel with my lamp, tasting metal
of varying textures –
rusted, gold, and other star-erupted symbols –
greeting obscurity, broken toenails
I can’t be bothered to trim. How many rooms, my God?
How much waiting and walking, and the fish?
I could be a fish. Make me
one of those – sliding about, weaving with one full-body stroke
through a lush intricate terrain, mastering
a juicy undergrowth. Continue reading “Two Poems | by Allison Grayhurst”

Prime 4 | by Doug Hawley

Julie Collins: We are back with our fourth interview with Dook, who represents the Angwins, or what we had called Yetis or abominable snowmen. Today, we’d like to talk about a controversial area, the beliefs or religion of the Angwin. Welcome back Dook.

Dook: Same to you Julie.

Julie Collins: So what is your religion or beliefs?

Dook: We don’t subscribe to anything which might be called a religion, but some of our mutant retrogrades have adopted some of the beliefs of the lands in which they live.

Julie Collins: Some might think that you would be Buddhists given your proximity to Tibet. Continue reading “Prime 4 | by Doug Hawley”

Prime 3 | by Doug Hawley

Julie Collins: We are here for the third interview with Yeti/Angwin spokesman
Dook. For the five people living under rocks in Blankistan, in the first two interviews we learned that the Angwin are small relatives of humans, who live in the Himalayas. They sometimes have mutant progeny that look just like humans, but all of them are brilliant. Dook agreed to an interview in order to gain a homeland for his people. After a few troubles, he has succeeded and he will tell you about that today.

Tell us Dook, how you succeeded. Continue reading “Prime 3 | by Doug Hawley”

Fine Specimen | by Rob Parrish

The dually trucks were right on schedule, each zipping into the park, diesel engines roaring. They were like jets flying overhead. But this was Texas. These were ranchers.

The smell of cooked meat from the concession stand’s big grill hung heavy under the bright lights. But this wasn’t football. This was little league baseball.

Plumes of dust from the trucks collided with grill smoke. The crowd, attired in denim and leather, rose from the bleachers with their hands half-circled above their brows. Lloyd stood with the crowd, but looked in a different direction. His eyes were on his son, Tommy.

With a palm the size of the panhandle, the umpire raised his arm to stop the game. He was known as Minotaur. Before the transformation, his name was actually Harold, but no one bothered to remember anything from before. Continue reading “Fine Specimen | by Rob Parrish”

Daughter of the Gods | by Linda M. Crate

Maevelin knew she had to save her failing brother. He was the only family she had left since her parents had died when they were children. Even though she was only four years younger than he was, he had practically raised her, himself.

She couldn’t just allow Maedri to die.

“Maevelin, we all have a time to go.”

“Don’t talk like that. I will find help. Surely there’s something I can do,” she insisted. “The herbs and potions the healers are giving you aren’t doing anything to cure your ailment. Surely, I can find something better. Something to cure you of this mysterious illness.”

“I would be more content if you would stay, sister. Sometimes you cannot fight fate.”

“Sometimes it’s up to you to change it,” she protested. “I won’t let you die. You don’t deserve it,” she protested, tears running down her cheeks. “Wait for me, I will come back. I promise.” She thought if anyone knew how to save her brother it may have been the strange oracle that everyone avoided. Continue reading “Daughter of the Gods | by Linda M. Crate”