William Lessard

Facebook – 9/4/17

peel back the “like” emoji
glam aluminum fingers
*glove of skin dropping to the floor*
wires turning Saturn around the wrist
red wires yellow wires green wires
i wonder which carry flirt likes and which jealous likes
wonder if Republican likes are the red wires and Democratic are the blue
wonder if they’re allowed to touch

Andy says Pop means we get to like things
FB says Like whatever
is how we become God=============
$likes collecting in cartoon stomach
$$likes smoking cigarettes
$$$likes bouncing on diamonds, on stars

*tfw you feel nothing at all*
likes tickle glitter at the back of the throat
sparkle tonsil
/FB “like” emoji invented 2,000 years ago by the Romans
sometimes i look for it in my poop even if i don’t see it i know it’s there
nobody just turns back into raindrops first they must be counted


Facebook – 9/8/17

like Amazon, i’m opening a second headquarters
————————>>five inches to the right of a cushion
i’ve named Diogenes

my safe place is a struck blade that forks me at the center

sometimes i order products dropped in a spare bedroom behind my eyes

place is not a place @place is where brand
confirms its ubiquity

someone asks how the blue expanse of these keys has turned me
i tell them they are talking to a fiction
to know me is to friend my simulation

why else do we come here except to grow new selves to carry back to the world
/infant ontology
/on-demand, quantified biology

^^^^Wal-Mart, aisle 36B oblation: at 2 a.m., tag photo of the ground that ripples
around you mark yourself “safe” in the slow disaster that is breath

body is place w/CONDEMNED sign hung across its door
life is knowing when the cloud is parked at your window life is you walk out
footfall to sky


Facebook – 9/28/17

are you still
at war
if he’s not
into you
that way$$$

>>Kleenex Extra-Soft Tissue with Lotion, 4 Cube Boxes (75 tissues per box)


zombies aren’t living
their best life

>>Home Improvement: The 20th Anniversary Complete Collection – 28-DVD set


tonight i unscrew my head to release a hatching bird

>>Orange Circle Studio Do-It- All Planner, Aug. 2017 – Dec. 2018, Secret Garden


modern grounds for witch-burning: a woman with more vibrators than shoes

>>MOCOFO Set of 2 Foldable Storage Baskets Needs Containers Organizer With
Cotton Closet Removable Dividers


Facebook – 10/4/17

adulting under dirty glass
tubed room, translucent walls

sometimes we imagine the wrenches turning gone within us /dream a torqued solution
that sockets
the philosopher’s gauge

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

our pain a landscape with fluid frame

pinch a backlit border pretend history at the pixel level

==========>our subject: the glare of yellowed star
pre-Cambrian light collapsing into now

its gleam a luminal artifact, experienced as filtered modality
we pass
among friends

our metaphysics is interface
our history a lossy compression


WILLIAM LESSARD has writing that has appeared in McSweeney’s, Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Prelude, and Fanzine. His work has also been featured at MoMA PS1.

Emma Seely-Katz


Everyone is funner than me
at the Bronx Museum of Art
whoever’s controlling the lobby music is playing
and I am feeling
horribly depressed
but I obviously have to dance
and wonder if it’s okay that all the elementary school kids
on a field trip
are listening to “Push It”
msw is rolling
and being all big brotherly
which I don’t appreciate as much as I should
I’m probably just bitter that he’s cuter than me
though today my hair is making me feel
extremely Jewish
and that feels kind of sexy

I hold his hand
and think about what it means
that half the men I’ve slept with see me as a little sister figure
and that the other half
I don’t talk to anymore.
msw says he won’t compliment me until I least expect it
I never expect it
And I am so loud
And I am so red-faced
And I am so quick to expect
my elementary school “genius”
to return to me in my sleep some night
so I will once again
be the right kind of annoying.
I walk through the Bronx with soaking wet socks
feeling mostly unloved
and sweaty

I recognized yesterday
my lips have become addicted to Aquaphor
I looked it up online
there are chat rooms dedicated
to chapstick addictions
there is probably hope for me.

msw’s friend says she learned all she needs to know about me today
I am a Pisces
and carry a full-sized bottle of Advil
on my person at all times.
Why can’t the boys I fuck
see me that simply?

On the train home with Ellie,
I am a little performative with my sad sex stories
for the benefit of the man
whose hand is above mine on the subway pole
I can feel him
subtly shudder with laughter
when I talk about the boy
who started telling me about his hatred of his dad
while his hard penis was in my hand
I feel generous
and hope the man texts his friends
about the annoying white girl
on the Downtown 4.

In the Lorimer station,
I hand a homeless man a wet dollar bill
I found in my pocket and tell him to
“have a nice day”
and feel like an enormous cunt
and still hope people who might have seen think I’m
Good, if annoying
I go home
to watch The Passion of Joan of Arc
and feel
very nineteen
I like dick I guess

In the library alone
I watch the first half of three different movies
feel grand and impotent
and think about eunuchs
I listen to the bolero music
playing in the hair salon next door
seeping through the bathroom wall
I google the song and play it back
loud, so they can know I know
what they hear in it.
I have a date in one hour and fifty four minutes exactly,
and my feet smell like seaweed
sweating on a rocky beach
on the first hot day of the year.

The woman I love
has not looked at me in months
I try to project myself into her brain
but find I can’t make it past
this one painful curl on her cheekbone.

I masturbate to a wall of spines
of books and laugh
when I see
I Love Dick
I write the lost woman
letters in bed
in my head
and recite them to my smelly feet
lying on the other end
of the leather couch.
The music is slow trumpet now,
I will always love her,
I will always let her
play me to sleep
Winter Wind

Last night we kept splashing
rum onto my yoga mat. I cannot
believe I sent a video
performing a monologue I did
in 9th grade acting class
to my high school crush.
I did not ask him how he was doing in school
but he answered anyway:
pretty fucking good

I fell in love with him the second week
of freshman year when he told me
I was going to hell
he looked so tender
if only he could have
come with me
I tried to figure out by squinting
at his hands in Facebook pictures
if he still wears a
purity ring.
I’m so voracious, it scares
men away

my therapist told me
as an experiment, I should try to dress
sexy at a party, since I always
complain about how men don’t approach me.
She asked me “What do you want?
You want them to come up to you like
Hi I saw your face from across the room
and you look so
intelligent, fallible but ultimately
well-intentioned, would you like
to start a book club with me?”

I asked L if there was any way
I could make a turtleneck sexy
My special old person insoles
had me bouncing down the sidewalk,
dragging L along by the arm and saying
to the Chasidic Jews we passed
the looks I got made me thankful
that murder is nixed
in the Ten Commandments.

My earnestness
will be
my downfall,
I’m calling it right now.


EMMA SEELY-KATZ is a Pisces studying sculpture and philosophy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Her first book of poetry, Yellowing, was published by Lost Alphabet Press in January 2018. Every word she writes is a love note to the women in her life.

Nico Vassilakis



NICO VASSILAKIS writes and draws language. Many of his results can be found online and on his website, Staring Poetics. Recent books include Alphabet Noir and In The Breast Pocket Of A Fine Overcast Day. He co-edited The Last Vispo Anthology (Fantagraphics Books, 2012). He lives in the Bronx with his wife.

Ellen Boyette


To flail again, within the call, to face
behind the awl and laud no meeker
skirmish. I heard you glib-running
a glimmer through thread and asked whether

or not potholder making was still the fashion.
A red heron, a rescue boat– some trinkets
spitting blood into piss, paint
into dark and plot across the day, a marker

to the face– take the planets, break
a year, give a year a ship and call
the year a spade. Pedal is to
petal is to: the analogy I’m making,

if possible almost likened eternities
gets you going— driving away
crowds of loved ones in slow motion
reveals only the image of a power drill

making love to a rubber nipple, I’m sorry
I just meant to but couldn’t channel
the surfable dialectic and now
lo, the stiff breeze teases this

proprioceptive undercurrent like wrung
hunger guts: prepositionless, x-rayless,
having not spoken for days less equivalent
to breadcrumbs and still days to come—

often a hmm to oneself reviles, no?
Brackens the inhabitable isles of air
where migraines unlubricate inner tender
private drift, sends one humping

against murmur dregs til chafed. Pitter
til close is a way out of income and income
is on its way out, drought patterns
dispelling mythologies of ancient grasses

fit for un-chain salad options we might
skim decidedly against as against we might
parades, as against we might a vapid
field of swordplayers on a Wednesday—

it’s too much sometimes, all the shit
doggie-paddling won’t suffice to distance,
won’t calamine the rampant itching
you’d forbid me scratch an arm off to.

Grandparents love those many-birded clocks
great-horning owls into REM cycles,
a who into duvet laden breath realm,
ordering lesser hours into aquiverous chime…

If I could mean something nefarious
by a belt buckle in a bathtub, I’d rather
I couldn’t, you know? Tupperware
wearing down of anecdote, a millstone– blue

carrion elbowing into my, no–
goblet of what you’re having, I’ll– no,
choreographed conviction over dull
twinges of others’ ailings like a coffin were

descending, sails winding, moving, could you,
no, you really could– perform me, a marionette,
I’m asking, the lingering petunias
billowing in the drift of how-our- days-were?

Unblemished though in want of surface, bluely
I haywired a grave crop, caught a hangnail
mid-penance. Dropped it. Drilled further, railed
beneath the mound dumbly with a mouthharp
for a saw, and saw the mound unfurling.

Not feverish so much as fervent, the dirt
forbade me wed it back to sleep, whether
granular air commits to grandiose or feathered
gavel-banging, I nonetheless pitted it pat.
Look– we’ve all felt zero interest in zoos,

one need not exhume extraneous limbs
to articulate the headachey gloss of artifacts
oohed and ahhed over, moussed verbally
til flattened—take from a pressed coin a coiled
rattlesnake and out of it ragtime a thimble’s

worth of venom. That’s a vindictive ruse
I could incubate, inculcated as I am by
the surface of even lime, lithe in the rim
of what seems questionable—a quotient of drink
undowned ‘cross mahogany watermarks, unthink

-able in even xeroxed treaties for xenophobic
killjoys whose kink is kinkshaming. I’d tear
a jewel into the moon if it made me seem judicious.
How? Yardstick and yarn. It’s a young man’s game,
tensing index to icon and omitting the touch.


Indifference or resignation to disease
directs the ventilation of my speech, deifying

less distinct figures under indigo lit
and candied waiting tanks, a plastic dentist’s

chair, surgeons indistinguishable from
diptych renderings of cardinal benediction.

Idiocy, like the sun, dilutes the cornea

and the tomb, though dim light never did
a diligent man make. Sterile with light

like Iditarod dogs, I grow dizzy in distorted
air, disjointed with breeding. Diphtheria

should be of no disturbance, though I’d
deem the Adirondack trail devisor hallowed

who survives it, braiding daffodils into rope,
hammering obsidian into sundial– same

difference– whimpering inventions distract
the diagnosed poorly, make failed disciples.

The fruitless fields have bored you
with the medium of air, noon mode

through which there is no ratio
of argument to document. Materials

subject to vision, but the day’s at least maroon
as a toothache, a foot-hole catching

sunset where a hare sleeps harder
not knowing the mechanical yearnings affixed

to reaping. Don’t let me keep you
tying factory line knots with laces just

for show. A libretto of clouds part to reveal
the HTML of your desire but what did you expect?

A sooty Grecian icon?
Another bright breakfast option?

Sliver of sky like the fate
from an eight ball: It is decidedly so.  

Either take the sterile scape to see flightless
birds emerging from your nest egg

or recall the barebreasted women milling mash
from trees. It was in a video. It was through

Visine, the caustic laughter of horses awaiting
hide-lessness for someone’s future

back pocket wallet. Beyond that,
wall-to- wall ether. There’s a dialogue

of vastness to further back-and- forth.
Sky re-configures. Says count the sequins

of the slow drop of a priceless watch.
Of the dewed apple falling.

Says watch the ants in vinegar dance
across the sill like a barrage of striking typos.


ELLEN BOYETTE is an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she is an editorial assistant for The Iowa Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming at Leveler, poets.org, The Iowa Review blog, and Flag + Void.