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Stella Wong

dramatic monologue as Laurie Spiegel

sure it sounds like a dog in a prairie
but not the prairie dogs that say steve

but little prairie synths. they’re
synthing through the tall synth grass,

the color you see when you press on
your closed eyelids. it’s the sound of sewing

together synth rags into a quilted synth
and shaping whatever speaker you want. pretty

much the sound of cold synth boiled
over a synth bonfire. powerlessness doesn’t sound

like this. now who’s interposing is this country
being born, and if synth

versus analog tug of war will win.
modular systems are just like log cabins. random

access is taking the first bite
off a dish in the kitchen and getting away

or even better, cooking up your own
technician. eating the synth scraps,

what they call a chef’s treat. when
you don’t have a nested hierarchy,

truly synthetic, then the synth is person-personal,
the synth is built. the self wanders in and out.

 
 
 
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dramatic monologue as Delia Derbyshire

in my best nightmare, I’m not a lizard
brain anymore. it’s not an antediluvian flood 

while I bob for basement windows.
no scaly godzilla tracking me through the maze.

the best is when I’m a red-handed
hatchet. I’m not scared of gunmen

or men. it doesn’t matter how slowly I walk
or what I wore to the office. I’m smashing

the exit sign. extinguisher boxes. breaking
for breaking’s sake.

I hesitate to sacrifice abrahamically and a fellow secret
agent gets it, closes the elevator door

on herself and two children, sending them to the ground
floor where there’s a fire I started.

my therapist asks why my expression
is so violent. she asks what happens to the children. I don’t know

and I don’t care. I don’t judge
in the dream. I have goals and I’m checking

boxes. she says I am 
the children. I am not. I’m me. she says 

I am the other woman,
I am the two children, this is the manifestation

of my psyche. it is all me. I am the burning 
building. like a good program, no one’s 

coming after me.

 
 
 
**
 
 
 

dramatic monologue as Mira Calix

you know when you’re one of them they used
to work the pilot light or the sax at the blade

runner clubs when you glitch in neoprene
and reject the capitol, capitalism

and neon tube all caps. really. what’s in a right
click? glowing ball-joints or peeping

potato eyes. the stubby sacks don’t know what externality’s going
to come up. are notoriously bad at concertina

and guessing. don’t remember the contropposto,
the negative space. the dappled beats.

 
 
 


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STELLA WONG is the author of SPOOKS, winner of the Saturnalia Books Editors Prize, and AMERICAN ZERO, selected for the Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize by Danez Smith. A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Wong’s poems have appeared in POETRY, Colorado Review, Lana Turner, Bennington Review, the LA Review of Books, and more.

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