The Hand Shop | by Christopher Iacono

     I never wanted to sell hands. I had never thought people would want such things until a lawyer told me I had inherited my father’s hand shop.

     I hadn’t spoken to my father in years, so I was surprised that I was even in his will. Then again, who else would have received the shop? He had no other children.

     I wanted to sell the shop, but according to the will, I had to sell the rest of the inventory first. No reason was given. Maybe my father was punishing me.
Continue reading “The Hand Shop | by Christopher Iacono”

Graperoo | by Mitchell Toews

IT MAY SHOCK readers to know that I am a so-called inanimate object.

Please let me explain. While inanimate objects are indeed inanimate, we are skilled communicators. There are varying degrees of communicative ability among inamimates, but for the most part, we excel at and are capable of rapid, clear, and expressive telepathy.

Unfortunately, we can communicate only among ourselves – not to the animates who surround us and, in some cases, like mine – create us.

Humans speak, inflect, and move. They use posture, volume, expression, gaze, silence and a myriad of tools to communicate. Similarly, animals communicate among themselves and, with varying success, back and forth with humans. Inanimates send and receive our thoughts and feelings telepathically. We emote through the air – thick, thin or absent. Continue reading “Graperoo | by Mitchell Toews”

Two Poems | by Ingrid Calderon

lemon peel

I want to be soft,
jeweled,
like fine china
sipped antiquity
brotheled smut
I want my navel
to expand
each time I think of you
I want my skin
to turn to sand
and slip between
your weathered hands
I want my eyes to land
inside your mouth
so you can see
I carry innocence
abysmal purity
beside sharp shards
warm milk
old wounds
still bleeding Continue reading “Two Poems | by Ingrid Calderon”

Three Poems | by James Pate

#4

 

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”