Gabriel Ojeda-Sague


Believe me, I’m dealing with the ragged aroma. Ways of waiting are known to me as the miracle he and you promised. My lapse into uncontrolled remembering is the symptom of a nine month fever, my animal system. In bed, healing, I am still wondering where Eleguá is and the color of his shells, how he might trick the violence that is always landing. There isn’t a projection of machinery like there used to be. It’s full of lights, individual, unarmed. When the lover is also the defense and constellating of survival, surfaces in contact, folding.

When I exist,
I am complicit.

The tongue
to shape
the worth of a moment.

I’m also afraid of spiders. Where is the license for instrumentalizing? I keep showing you: the delays are getting to me, more and more. If I told you I needed a worth of images, would you tell me I’m losing it? This is no way to excite a lady. The cold mimeograph of my dim certainty for plant-life: always waiting.

If Eleguá’s hair
is thick and separate
and soaked





Good evening, this is Marie again with you and this video is going to be completely dedicated to your relaxation. In this video Im going to use my 3D microphone for a full effect of my presence with you in this video. Im going to be doing different things around the viewer, or yourself, to hopefully fall asleep faster or make you feel more relaxed, at peace, and ready for your nights sleep.

I guess well start with the loudest part of the video and that is the tapping. And that is gonnaI have my wonder brush and itsI truly enjoy the sound of it when you run your fingers over it, over the bristles; actually feelsnice, as well as sounds nice. And if you can tap, right on the edge, just like it sounds. Quite relaxing. So I could do that from here, on one side, for you, and then the same on the other side. Run my fingers through the bristles with gentle tapping. That might feel really good. The tapping sounds remind me of the sound of the rain, something gentle. I like it. I also like the sounds of brushing.

So now, if you want to completely relax, I would like to blow smoke into you. Just a moment. Now I have this wonderful oil warmer and lilac fragrance oil, warming oil, and sometimes when you want to relax you just put a few drops in thethis holder, candle holder; its made out of real stone and its not that hot, its not very heavy, but the top part is hot, because the candle is positioned just under the top part that actually warms up the oil, and this creates the fragrance and a little bit of smoke. So right now Im going to blow it into you to help fully create an aura and atmosphere of magic and tranquility. Im going to blow it to you from ear to ear, starting from here. Now the other ear, blowing gently all around you, covering you in the smoke. Now Im gonna go around to hopefully get your mind clouded. Im gonna blow smoke all around you: from your head on top to the back of your neck, to your spine, now to the other side, now again to the front. Sometimes its very nice to get very relaxed by breathing in the aroma of the warming oils, especially when the smoke is not so bad; its not so harsh, the smell is very mild, barely noticeable really.

So, Im gonna put it down for now, and now I want you to look into my eyes as Im gonna be massaging your temples on each side, helping you relax further away, helping you drift awayas long as you trust me. As I rub your temples from side to side, in clockwise direction, I want you to imagine a happy place of yours where nothing bad is. Its your happy place. It doesnt have to be a real place: you can fantasize and create your own place, it can be heaven, it can be under the tree next to your house, it can be in your little personal garden. Im going to scratch your scalp a little bit, just like so, massaging your skin, tugging on the hair a little bitif you let me. Sometimes we all come from work tired, or from school, or after we finish with the housework, and we come home and want to relax and want to find someone to pet us on the head and say how good we are. We want someone to comfort us, to tell us that were so great, that were appreciated. You are appreciated: I would like to be that place for you right now. I would like to protect you, to comfort you, to help you relax and forget about your trouble, whatever it is. Ill just scratch behind your ear right here and on the top of the head. Ill scratch right around your head. Mhmmm, that should feel good. That might release some tension from your body and from your soul, from your mind, help you relax, fall asleep, feel protected and safe. And on the other side, the same thing. Im gonna scratch on top of your head, behind your ear again. That should feel really good, doesnt it?

That should feel like nothing matters anymore. This is your moment to relax: to let go, to forget, and in the back of your head too.

Okay, now Im going to gently massage the back of your head and the back of your shoulders. Im gonna squeeze the muscle and Im going to let it go, releasing any tension that could be in your shoulders, in your upper back. It should feel really good. So if you let me well start from the side. There you go. Im going to squeeze the muscle and let it go and then gently rub it between my hands, back and forth. That should be quite pleasant. That should help you relax further. Help you, hopefully, get rid of any aches that you might have. Squeezing the muscle and letting it go. Again squeezing it and letting it go. Very well. And Im gonna do the same thing with the other side, if you dont mind. Same thing. Squeezing your shoulder muscle. Its so tight. Were gonna work at it. Squeezing it with both of my hands, pressing it hard but gentle, and then letting it go. Just like so. That should feel really good. You should feel relaxed. Again squeezing it and letting it go. I hope you feel relaxed. I hope you feel at peace. I hope you feel like youre ready to sleep soon.

And for the end, Im going to tickle you a little bit. Im hoping that might send you tingles down yourdown your spine. Sometimes, when somebody tickles you with a feather, the touch of the feather can be so ticklish, but in a good way. If its with good intentions, it could actually calm you down. So if you dont mind, I would like to run this feather along your face, gently, barely touching, just a little bit. It might tickle just slightly, but not hard, just a little bit. Running it along the side and then on your cheeks, into your chin, into your neck. Same thing on the other side: running it over your forehead, over your eyes, gently, over your cheek. Each feather touching your skin sends you chills: over your neck and then on your forehead, around your eyes, over your nose, over your cheek, over your lips, your chin. Im hoping youre enjoying this. Im hoping that this might help you relax. Help you go to sleep faster. I can tickle your ear, just a little bit, just slightly if you let me. Just slightly. The other ear. That might tickle you just a little bit.

So now, I want you to forget about everything. Try to feel happy. Try to feel like youre ready to drift away. Try to imagine your happy place. Go to it. Dont worry about anything. Everything is going to be alright. Sleep. Sleep. Have a good night. Sweet dreams. Sleep. Sleep.



GABRIEL OJEDA-SAGUE is a latino queer Leo living in Philadelphia, PA. His work has been published in Open House, Assaracus, TINGE, Gone Lawn, Cleaver Magazine, and APIARY Magazine, among others. He is the author of the chapbooks JOGS, a conceptual re-writing of the 1977 book “The Joy of Gay Sex,” and Nite [Chickadee]’s (GaussPDF, 2015), a collection of Cher’s tweets on systematic racism and violence.

Julia Madsen


Two men stand shoulder to shoulder connected by earphones.
They put their phones together. The plug-ins are like genitals
surfacing and resurfacing from the depth of some etheric
interaction, their thoughts occur together over and over in a sort
of looped telephony. Then they occur to me. A private thought
is a loop of which I am either an occurrence or not, and if not,
then it is a little hard to stand. It is hard to stand.
A greenscreen lifts


and the host runs on stage he runs with the stage,
it is a mirror of his shoes. He glances backwards, is not the city
behind him. He says ‘distance’ and raises his hand. He touches
his glasses and says ‘darndest.’ A black and blue tie
a monological signal displaced where eye meets gesture,
a sort of retinal retention, he motions toward the audience’s
loud moan and subsequent applause—‘c’mon’ he says—
like a climax flourishing unfinished.


The network logo is nestled or furtively enclosed in its lid.
‘You people are in such a lovely mood’ he says ‘thank you.’
He makes a joke and the audience laughs into their mouths.
Our view begins at the edge of the screen and permeates it
via waves of etheric interaction. He shows us what is up next
and says ‘God bless you’ before he sends us off for
the commercial. A father talks to his son a family sits down
and talks about finances a man talks into his headset. He stands
on the street holding coffee. Someone waves to him as he opens
his phone when the commercial breaks they are still waving.


The host holds a card in his hand and brings a phone up
to his ear. He has a call coming in. The phone is flesh tone
and bolted to the desk, he writes something across
the audience’s forehead. He has a call coming in or the other way
around. He is looking back at us or the other way around.
He spreads his arms benevolently and sits not uncomfortably
in his chair. We are not uncomfortable with the silence
resounding in our smiles. He cuts himself off. He suppresses
laughter. Even the music silently loops when a woman with
glasses and a man with a hat and a child with a scarf sit frozen
in their chairs mid-action in an ad I recover from my somewhat
distant past. My father sits frozen in a chair and has a nosebleed.
In another ad a man checks out his groceries in a store stained
red. He looks behind him and then with real emotion warmly
embraces the cashier, starts to speak then says nothing,
embraces him again.


The music is a mode of sincerity, and that means that you
are not speaking to me. The host looks natural. He licks his lips
and introduces us to the guest, shakes his hand and says
‘you leave us wanting more.’ The sound bites disperse.
Are their thoughts colluding with ours he looks down and asks
how he is doing. The guest crosses and uncrosses his legs.
He puts his finger to his lips and looks around with suspicion.
‘You’ve just given up haven’t you’ says the guest.
When the audience becomes too aware, he swivels in his chair.
‘This is bizarre’ he says. ‘What do we do now?’


Our radiant bodies are warm with potential. Sound bites
run through the host’s teeth as he points to the greenscreen.
The network logo has become a spotlight on the sky of the city.
He searches his empty pockets for a while. No. Our bodies
are tuning devices. The same sound occurs to me over and over
like a thought but it is not my thought, it is nobody’s really,
it is this one. ‘I look up to you as a father figure’ says the guest.
We have the same thought and it is this one.


A child waves at the camera in this ad a family sits by the pool
a woman stands, statuesque, in front of the refrigerator
for five minutes. She is letting the cold in. It is winter
in Manhattan. It is summer in Manhattan. Seasons shift
as the family looks up at the sky, unexpectedly noticing
the spotlight. A woman puts together a flesh tone puzzle of her
face and all of the pieces are the same. Ads flip. The pieces
are the same and unexpected. I open the refrigerator. I am
holding the camera. Keep it open. The guest touches his beard
and silently writes something on the audience’s hand.
The camera pans to the audience and we do not recognize
their faces but we recognize their laughter. The guest’s hands
wave. Both of them. Indeed, abstraction exists.


Ed. Note: LATE-NIGHT TALK SHOW BEGINNING WITH COMMERCIAL  is an ekphrasis of the Late Show with David Letterman which aired on November 5, 2012.


JULIA MADSEN received an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University and is currently a PhD candidate in English/Creative Writing at the University of Denver. Her poems and multimedia work have appeared or are forthcoming in Caketrain, Dreginald, Deluge, Small Po[r]tions, Black Warrior Review, Alice Blue Review, Devil’s Lake, Versal, and Cutbank.

Leif Haven


in the iroc z t-top
i ask you to kill me
like you would kill a very close friend
who had betrayed you

because i have betrayed you
the cops will be here any second
you ask for my hand
i throw my beer in your face

i ask you to kill me like you would kill
a family member who had
disrespected your family
i ask for the keys

i become a dune buggy
i play video games
under the cover of night
i fly in and out of contested space

i am taking your food stamps
and i am going to buy gluten
free crackers crucify me
on a keyboard i want to die

like the rest of the world dies
or before it i mean before it or
as soon as possible i mean i’ll take
away the rest of the dirty dishes

and burn them
with the rest of the dirty dishes
i mean i’ll take the keys i mean
get the hell out of my car
the iroc z dumps horrific death into the air
that you expected to breath
i want to die like the dirty cop
in the crime drama.

i want to die of hurricane.
i want to die of tsunami.
i want to die of diabetes.
i want to die of gout.
i want to die of friendly fire.
i want to die of accidental gunshot.
i want to die of overdose.
i want to die of tree spike.
i want to die of arson.
i want to die of everything.
i want to die of cancer.
i want to die by car.
i want to drink the water that comes
from the wells that bleed. i want to drive
my iroc z straight to hell i mean
my iroc z t-top was forged in hell

it wants to go home it wants
to take me to the roads
it wants to cycle through my gears,

it wants to blip my throttle,
it wants to maintain perfect poise
on the winding cliffside road,

it wants to drive off, it wants to
die deified like henry fonda. like
peter fonda. like marlon brando. like
a cigarette in the eye of the beholder
i want to take you to eat a hot dog
i want to take your hot dog and rub it
all over your back
let’s get a water bed and put it

in the back of the iroc
let’s take the iroc out to the sea and stand
up in the t-tops and holler
we’ll holler at the crashing waves

the constant always crashing waves
we’ll holler like never before
or we could drive to the mountains and holler from their tops.
what do you say? i’ve got a six pack and a knife

kill me like a roach in the cabinet door
kill me like a roach on trial
kill me like a roach in your bedsheets

let’s take this street mattress and give it to our closest friend
we can tie it on top with this rope i’ve got

crucify me on this gibson flying v
i bleed algae and spirulina
my blood is faith
crucify me on my stick shift
crucify me on my t-top

my iroc z t-top
ever steadfast
ever abiding
chrome rims and lo pro tires
my naturally aspirated
small block v8 laps up
genital sweat and small children

children practically throw themselves
into the air intake
the small block laughs and laughs
the iroc z is an impossible ghost

only supermodels can catch
only blood diamonds can see

i’m your messiah complex risen from the dead
i’m asking you to kill me like
a pelican covered in crude oil
slowly, painfully, and ironically,

we don’t even know what words
mean anymore but we still use them

strip my health benefits that i never got
from my wretched body and flay
the social security that i never
got from my dirty skin

i dare you to ask me about my
emotional well being

it’s mounted on servo motors and uses
a number of advanced projectors to
create the feeling of careening speed.
it only creates the illusion

of living young and dying hard
or being fast and furious and full of lust

hard to explain but there it is
you can go back to your life now


Ed. Note: This poem has been excerpted from its original length.


LEIF HAVEN lives in Oakland. His first book is forthcoming from 1913 Press as the winner of the 1913 Prize for First Books. Other work can be found here.

Laura A Warman

july 17 poem-1 july 17 poem-2 july 17 poem-3 july 17 poem-4 july 17 poem-5


LAURA A. WARMAN is a performance poet based in Amherst, MA. She is the author of How Much Does It Cost? (Cars Are Real Press), DRONE LOVE (Gauss PDF), and WILL GO FAST (Hysterically Real). She is the founder of GLASS PRESS, a publisher of art and poetry on flash drives. Warman has work in shows at MOCA Cleveland, Flying Object, and Open Engagement.

Ghada Khalil

that’s me in the corner, wearing your hair as a wig
also your penises and their vaginas for genitals; oh life!
is bigger. that’s me in the corner, dabbing myself with a fluffy breeze
like the plastic soft fur of a non-animal.
newscasters speaking to me in foreign languages, live, on air;
interviewing the making of a foreign meat self.

the windows plucked, architecture tucks you in
with your golden eggs – your ovaries staring
at your freezer like it is not form The Milky Way.
they steal them from you after you show them off on
your mini-strawberry-me-too channel.

that’s me in the corner, propped for reality
that’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spot
where people kiss. love-make, build apartments
and live in them.
that’s me in the mirror when you are not there
every waking hour of a hurt lost and blinded fool
feels like this, extras are whispers and kisses.

consider this, to tie my cut hair to a canoe
on a drifting gliding river
take it to where it won’t go
away from the zoo. away from the signs on the street
away from where you see people behind paper houses.

that’s me in the corner
eating custard, yellow and chocolate
I thought that I heard you laughing
I am discolored and I saw you try
I have to be there at 15 past any hour.

we could be anywhere
poke strawberries like you don’t know what they taste like
the distance in your eyes is folded into neat domestics.
every whisper of you, echoes in my waking hours.
that’s me, with a music box under my palate, pins plucking
the comb teeth, strawberries on your nipples.


that’s me in the corner
that is me where you are not
the kite in your hair threads up and go to a cloud
never back. in the picture,
you are cubed-in like a docile pet version of yourself.

every whisper is mine. and yours.
I’ll share air with your animals
blinded fool. you are daring too much
I set it up so you have crowns on your head
until you fall on your knees from flailing in
the kitchen of food and fruits.

your fantasies in the fridge
your fantasies under the table
in the sheets and in the windows
binoculars broken to pieces.
the perversion of normal things and scissors
cutting hair cuticles until you look pretty,
and kissable.

the air I’ll sniff in one hair of yours,
inflating – deflating,
until I crash in your body like an accident
that arrived at your door and stayed in your unfinished basement.

like your mother is a post post post post punk
with pink umbrellas asking for money
at 23rd and 6th avenue,
like you spell the F’s, N’s, R’s, the greens and red
of the trains under the city because you are going somewhere
like sewage is the fluid lost and full, fool, it gurgles
under your urban feet in cool shoes.

wasting myself out of purposes, vomit,
the pillz I’ll toss in canisters of nothings
to see you sober. purple. laughing like a miniature of you would
in a sugar can. swimming in your own saliva like
you have nowhere else to go.
oh no. I am sad too much
I haven’t been sad enough.


your poems
I sniffed them like a dog, like a liver, hungry

like there are million clocks in the room
and I can’t see you anymore
like we are dispatching time to a small space with an overnight carrier
and the space is converted to a corner-less, wall-less cube of air made to breathe.

the layers I would peel off your face
to find your skeleton bare and clown
laughing hysterically with floating balloons filled with air of color.

prep me with wigs for a laughter
dansking instead of dancing
oh life. is bigger.
it is bigger than me and me is not you.
the things I’d go to, the distance in your eyes.
I set it up so that’s me in the corner,
in the spot. and light
losing my reflection.
tossing pillows on beds.
tossing beds in the valley
and sheets on tightropes
losing teeth and tossing kisses in the one gas that fills your lung.

every whisper, every waking hour.
I am trying to keep my eyes on you
like a hurt lost blinded fool. fool.
watermelons, chopped,
eaten, left-overed.
clowns at circuses of offices
gesturing to people wearing costumes of thirds of wings.
then, fractions at night. equal parts of one part.

leave tea alone into the air;
without a cup. that’s me dancing inside tomato seeds
licking the sun. the moon. and dotty stars
that are smaller than me, and life is bigger than them.


when you fly with a half a wing
I work on fractions all night
quarter wings are okay too.
or thirds. infinitesimal. invisible,
like when you are too big to be seen. like you are not me.

your intestines are all tucked in
the abdomen of someone else
they, your intestines, work for money
for long hours. in offices. your biology is dreadful and soft
your livers flailing in brown and doused in drugs
for ecstasies found in kisses, awards, firsts and lasts
and also in fruits, like cherries.

I think I thought I saw you try
try, cry, why try?
just a dream.

every whisper I sip from half of your lips
hurt, lost and blinded fool. fool.
the mantle of your vertical body, thrill.

I am draining fantasies like a blood let,

the windows I’d borrow to make a city
to wander around at night
and look at you throwing your self in dances
between the corners of walls

trying to keep up with you
I don’t know if I can do it

to know others get very hungry too.

just a dream

and then those small people sailing in coffee drinks
crossing every border you imagine
and living in the most foreign of familiar places.


oh life, is bigger.
the polished shoes and
the pictures I’d take of myself
to set myself up for light. spotlight.
to get your kiss on the neck.
to be enough.

I thought that I heard you laughing.
I thought that I heard you sing.

Every whisper is loud and marching
to the lung.
not being knowed is the same as not being known.
analog kisses in twinkle lights
circuiting in the bones of copper
of these unrealistic robots that
read bedtime stories for alone pink people.

that was just a dream.

I left kisses for you at the door,
in the closet, in apricots and peaches.
I left kisses for you in the blanket
in the hours you are absent, in the hours
you are somewhere else, or someone else
I heard that I thought you sing.

every whisper, every waking hour
consider this. I made a diamond skeleton of myself
I put it on display in my window at night, it blinks.
consider this. when I die, donate it for rings for people poor
and committing to bare kisses.


GHADA KHALIL writes poetry and makes no-fi sound performances and visual collages. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Shrug issue 4 (TNY.Press), Electric Cereal, The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, Pif Magazine and Juked. She has an M.A. in Media Studies from New York University. Find her at and @_GhadaKhalil_.

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