Liam O’Brien

Rest Lawless
(fragments from The Complete Home, Julia McNair Wright, 1879)

I don’t know about all these wonders. Dozens of cheap
little husbands, their severance from society—if they set about
being companions and friends, making companions

for themselves—in the back of the hall, wonderful
curiosities. With him, a relief. Great pleasure also to satisfy
his growing thoughts. Come in, trust me. Invent and contrive:

what a house it would be. A place for such work: a corner
of the wood. A place curtained off somewhere. No separate
room. A small room, a kitchen; a room with a stove

running through it. A boy like a girl. The boy is yours.
I remember one day: his new high silk. He had taken
the crown. He tried to straighten it: getting ready.

Setting the shoes in rows, observing. Making buttons, mischief.
Believe me, we must never weary. We must build them:
honesty, unselfishness, kindness. Rest lawless, become lawless.
Never grow up into citizens.

 
 
 
**
 
 
 

She Serves Variety
(fragmented from The Complete Home, Julia McNair Wright, 1879)

Not always of one kind: the kind a prelude. Here she serves variety,
nicely cut. The beginning is generally
of bones. A stone, the bones, trimmed closely out of the salt.
A cloth kept very cool. Almost every day, a few bones, and variety.

Clear, the spoonful, the few slices. The remnant shall not be cast out:
all these fragments are to go therein. They do follow, that nothing
be lost
. In one, a cup of milk. A slice, a saucer. Drink it up.
To have, to wash. The cake is given. The cup of milk, with an egg,

thickening. The cake is cut and laid. It goes. The white
of an egg, a little cream, a little wine. We eat it. Delicious! What dainty
people, thrown away, provided for. Not half so wholesome. Refuse
very little. The nourishing and richest lies closest to the skin.

Even a summer can be scraped, the skin pulled off with a knife:
this saves. The knife is sharp, the peel is very thin. The eyes are all.
How long the meat should last: made to reach that requirement.
A very small vessel will hold the waste. It is turned to further use.

Far less than we do, he prefers. The scraps kept for the purpose.
A handful serves, to be repaid. Less cost. Expect what is needed,
and nothing to be wasted. So many people live, made in that way.
I feel heart-sick when I see the mighty trunks and branches

rotting on the ground. The possible ruin, standing cedar. Waiting.
They call this a line. Swamps and barrens, fortune, fuel. Burned over,
in the burning. Every particle that will burn. Cord-wood, small branches,
twigs and slender bundles. A blaze, tied up. The mullen and thistle,

the bramble, carried into the city. The olive trees, the roots of dead
olives and vines, the vine and olive roots are gathered up.
To keep a fire, you wish. Go out: from the pine woods on the hills
are gathered resinous wagon-loads from the dark. Here living,

our waste. Trouble and sorrow bring in these kingdoms, bearing,
renewing themselves. By famines, plagues, by armies shameless,
they have been turned to use. The land cannot endure the drain.
An effort, a thrift and thriving, sacrificing time. In all our lives,

the duty on hand: its proper uses. It takes more time. Many things
kept to be useful. One must save ice. A close cover, every fragment,
scalded and scoured. A growth by seeds, the germs of decay. Like ice,
the bones. Keep that wet. A wet cloth, or a stone. A piece of meat.

All this is very nice to know. Far better, the spring-house. The freer air
and shade, closets and store-rooms. The need of keeping. Some people
will wonder why they taint so fast. Other people do not give
enough air. Too much light. Careful, our lower halves. The boys make

latticed shutters, bowed all day, in these places. Wire covers.
Things in deep basins of cheap red earthenware, carefully tied.
Some people did themselves more damage, and were not careful. Take
a stout cloth before the last end. Set into the ground, to rest.

I think any one is wasted, your hand left to rot, making hard and soft.
Wood ashes, always. Old bones do not lie around. No weeds
overgrow. The earliest are raised here. Saving, escaping, saving,
three times a day. The bridge which carried in little things.

There is a fire, left clinging. Scattering all the scrapings. Your life
is made of trifles. It costs me. The walls, the hard ones, doing
this work. A knife blade, broken, fasten. China, glass, and earthen.
Well enough to come: such things I keep. One must work quickly.

Fit for nothing else. I need it, always keeping muscle besides. Kept
corked, clam or muscle, ten times as good. I don’t send them,
I mend them. I mentioned a city. Nothing is like it. Looking
for black silk, your best, your house-plants. A little ammonia,

glass and silver, weaker for flowers. We clean them stiff. A half-pint
of warm water for our heads. Nicer, in a bath when one is very warm,
engaged in dirty work. Indeed, a hundred times. House-cleaning,
it saves soap, brushes, wood-work, windows. It is a grand thing,

after the dust has settled. It destroys.


 
 
**


LIAM O’BRIEN grew up on a small island. Some of his work can be found in the Denver Quarterly, New Delta Review, Hobart Pulp, and Nightboat Books’ forthcoming We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics. He received his MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and lives in New York.

Lyric Hunter


CRUSH THEORIES

 

The first line of Crush Index by Anne Boyer, from her book of essays A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, I understand as an assignment: “1. Notes Toward a Theory of the Crush, Crush Discourse, Ma Vie en Crush.”

 

*

 

In Like Someone in Love, a lyric-essay addendum to her film-essay, Love Dog, Masha Tupitsyn writes of fatedness, of destinal qualities. Moments are fraught with philosophy, singled out for significance. Love never materializes, or rather, relations with romantic potential never shift into the romantic. “I am waiting,” she says.

I have waited/wasted time for so many crushes. The duration of the crush is a larger waiting, and in the waiting, a wanting and, sometimes, an approach, a hope. Tupitsyn writes of agency in her quest for love. We are our own protagonists. Straight white men have written our books about love and have disseminated the narrative of the often-feminized passive lover. It is a myth.

I am haunted by the image of Tupitsyn’s Marnay moon at the blue hour; it is familiar, I have lived it, it is a mirror, this moon hanging over the fields at a writing residency. Loving and crushing and wanting and desiring is ancillary to creation, a necessary by-product of the writing, which is procreative; desire energy is creation energy.

 

*

 

It is possible to love in a dozen different simultaneous ways, so that you alone are responsible for your love. What is a crush? It is not (only) romantic or sexual, it is astrological, interpersonal, friend-ish. It can be kind, gentle, a reaching across space.

There is pleasure in enjoying the company of a person you are attracted to. In listening to the rumble of the bass in their voice, of watching the muscles move under their freckled skin, in watching their faces change as they talk, as they listen, as they laugh. To see them live in real time does something to you. What is the thing? According to Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, fascination is “the end of language.” At the end of language is the beginning of the haptic, the tangible, the “common characteristics” of the other: their hair, their teeth, their freckles, their knees, the shape of their lips, their smile, their height. What is desired in the other’s body speaks to something about the self, in other words, one is reflected in the crush, twinned.

 

*

 

A pattern of preoccupation that I have: L’s wide curls framing his angular jaw, the way J’s haloes his ears, the thickness of T’s dark mop, A’s dark, contiguous eyebrow, M’s singularly black scruff, D’s tight, springy black coils fingered into twists.

The city as crush pulls together Boyer’s theory of longing as cosmopolitanism. “The way all the people of past longing combine with those of the present longing.” Barthes finds in the notion of Paris as adorable the notion of the adorableness of the other, as a Whole. The city: its architectures and the movements of its populations (they enliven the city) contain my affect. The city is my crush. The city, or a particular building or stretch of street or apartment.

The stone steps of the Foundation Building in the sun
rue Monge between rue Censier and Rue de Mirbel
the ateliers of l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts
the sloping architectural space of the Glassell School of Art
the branches of live oak arching over North Boulevard

These cities have gently held my desire, their architecture absorbing my affect: New York, Paris, Houston.

Cities hold other cities, and their affects: Houston’s light rail contains something of Paris’s tram. Paris’s elevated metro contains Queens’s elevated 7 line. These liminal spaces have all contained my feelings, train cars full of feelings. The breathlessness of standing electrifyingly close to L on the line 13 as it pulled into the Gare de Lyon, a kiss imminent. Climbing the stairs out of station Censier Daubenton, glancing up at the lit window where friends and crushes gathered. The heat in the face as my knee pressed hotly against D’s knee, before we part at Museum District. A city inside a city, affect within affect, continuously retracing, and finding more, more.

 

*

 

In writing my crushes, I participate in Jonathan Flateley’s “antidepressive melancholia,” avoiding, in my case, and by way of interrogation, feelings of melancholy. A distancing. A coping strategy. Tupitsyn on embarking for the residency at Marnay, pulling the four of swords: intellect in retreat.

As Barthes illuminates, the crush (an amorous exercise) and melancholia are inseparable. Boyer’s line from her essay Erotology: “You hold their face in your face.” Geminal, the Lover’s card is an echo.

“We are citizens of longing for the world.”

If the lover’s discourse is one of solitude, or of one and one, the crush is the common: many of us find community by confessing our crush. Germinal, the crush is a seed: for later love, for friendship, and for revolution.

 

*

 


Texts referenced include:

Barthes, Roland, and Richard Howard. A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, 1978.

Boyer, Anne. A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018.

Flatley, Jonathan. Affective Mapping, Harvard University Press, 2008.

Tupitsyn, Masha. Like Someone In Love: An Addendum to Love Dog, Penny-Ante Editions, 2013.


 
 
 
 
 
**

LYRIC HUNTER’s poetry and prose can be found online at Counter, Cordella, and Organism for Poetic Research. She is the author of two chapbooks, Motherwort (Guillotine, 2017), and Swallower (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014). She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Pratt Institute. She currently lives in New York.

Yuan Changming


 
 
 
Woman-Radical: A Feminist Lesson in Chinese Characters

妇:lady is a woman who has overthrown a mountain
好:wo man spelt as one word simply means good
妙:young women supporting each other are always wonderful
嫁:to marry a man is for a girl to have her own family
妖:weird would be a woman if she goes broken
姣: handsome is a woman standing with her legs crossed
婢:maid is a girl who is by nature humble
婵:beautiful is she who remains single
娘:mother is perforce a lady who is good and kind

 
 
 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 
 
 

To Be [Or Not to Be

Whatever or whoever you are]
To have [or not to have]
Whoever or whatever you may wish]
To do [or not to do]
Anything or nothing you would prefer, &]
To say [or not to say]
Nothing or anything you may intend to]

Given these four most common English verbs
We are all rendered equal as we cross
Every borderline, filling in every gap
In action as in thought [or otherwise]

 
 
 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mainstreet.com

If ever at all, if only once
If you were
To have such a chance

Just keep driving
Drive forward
With no need to take a shoulder check

Despite so many beside you
Despite so much more ahead & behind

Along this new street, your car
(Like your body or thought)
Will adapt its shape like a stream
Of water running its own course
From past to future, amidst
Programmed sapiens, through
The flow of data

Until at the meeting point
Between yin & yang
Between 0 & 1
Between time & space

 
 
 
 
 
 

**

YUAN CHANGMING edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, the Jodi Stutz Award in Poetry (2020) & publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) & BestNewPoemsOnline, among others across 45 countries.

Kelly Clare

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KELLY CLARE is a visual artist and writer currently pursuing an MFA in Sculpture at the University of Iowa. Before attending Iowa, she graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, IL. Her visual and literary work can be found at Hobart, Natural Bridge, Dead Alive, and pulpmouth.

Charles Theonia

THE WASHING AWAY OF WRONGS (“WHAT IS GLITTER?”)

I agreed not to describe even vaguely
each thrilling although unpretty anything
wasn’t for me but you liked it so I did

anything we do is now called glitter
unlearning touch my face
trust in consensus reality

everyone clicks til we get here
evening’s executive functioning drift
you ask and I do something sideways of it

small glitter is made from bigger glitter
I don’t like everyone but you
know those inklings once in awhile

break down mid word and keep on wording
worried about tomorrow when it comes
they don’t want anyone to know it’s glitter

disposable takes one thousand years to degrade
when the light goes purple and you whisper Prince
can I come in?

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

LILY PAD (AGNÈS VARDA, DIANA HAMILTON)

before I went too far and added violet
at the last minute without exchanging
a word we forgot to break the rules
I could have popped the bottle when
Mona said champagne on the road is better
absorbed I dream you’re mad at me waiting
outside the front door we fuck on the soft
air above a pond expectation
is a narrative error marking the hours
by how often you have to empty
the rain bucket is better than labor
it is recommended that we reserve
dream reenactment for the third date
or later walk in the belly between our
apartments full of news I kiss you against
a public wall to trade the morning for
warm winter sun prosecco a bad secret
with each new person arises an ever
more highly specified self-consciousness
I would like to believe you don’t mind that
I reset skin distance at each beginning
could go on forever as the morning had
extended itself down a pink hallway
we met without sending our thoughts ahead

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

EARTHLY REASONS

say what you will about cats, but I don’t see
any of you breaking into the bathroom
out of love for me

I really do savor the moment I open the morning
door and liquid cats spill in

a favorite thing about plural cats
is, listening, you have no idea
how many there are

their foreheads’ light milk smell

a likeminded person across the world
designed a perfume called Fluffy Brow

I’d like to visit the island
where cats outnumber people

and the parallel islands of foxes, rabbits

lucky for us we dream in landscapes
beyond our experience

desert mountains scrolling by

into silver monkey and capybara
hot springs float with steamy oranges

into passionfruit, its pink egg
into two white cups, form
holding itself open
messy hair of the rambutan
its pearly egg into its own glow

blueberry vinegar
in a canker sore
brightens the mouth

a walk on the sunny side

into Kelly’s 7-hour disco
research playlist

the extended cut, a technology
for sensing forever

Wild Heart dressing room video, 1981

into mallet instruments, when Carly
drops the beat on don’t give it UP
when Gerard says my heart
in hiding / stirred for a bird

the bouquet in my lobby said Kayla I’m an idiot
and an asshole

every year I can hardly believe we live
on a planet where flowers grow on trees

our gay beach nutcracker sociality
communal limearita into pink plastic chalice
the piss fence, rainbows, literal dolphins, all of us
human chain into riptide, vomiting
saltwater back on shore to straddle
each other on hot sand, cheering
when the clouds part back
into octopuses underwater
turning colors in their sleep

their arm brains, visible
thoughts, light
they see with their skin

Hannah says we shouldn’t stop
eating octopuses because of how smart
they are but how hard they try to escape

into pleasure of knowing
how something works, revulsion
at how we found out

into our expanses of bleached, silent reefs

I haven’t even made it into human pain
I spend my time writing poems
and Wendy says we need those
less than a brick through a window as she
keeps writing them too

if the poem into is all those
who swipe it forward
sit for court support, manage
a bail fund, spark a rent strike
bring meals, share
meds, walk friends home

there’s a lot to go looking for
via Agnes’ room at Dia I had no reason
to worry it wouldn’t be there each
time I returned, by cellphone
photos of the 17th-century still life
lizard reaching their forked tongue
up to a tulip, via Picard arguing
before a Starfleet tribunal that Data
should be referred to not as it, but he
by June becoming, in front of us, a menace
to her enemies, via Alice always crotch
-naked for music, unowning all seeds

and when Bernadette goes nothing outside
will cure you but everything’s outside

when Arthur goes it’s a big old world
with nothing in it / I can’t wait to see you
another minute

I feel both of that

my external endocrine system
advances in vegan cheese
your ass ascending a staircase
into rain on the shower skylight
I look forward to pickles especially pink
endorphins, of any origin
what we do after the nation and after the police
my hand up your overall shorts and happy
animals running into me

 
 
 
 

Notes:

“THE WASHING AWAY OF WRONGS” incorporates language from Caity Weaver’s investigative journalism on glitter.

A recording of “EARTHLY REASONS” previously appeared online as part of The Poetry Project’s House Party.

 
 
 
 

**

CHARLES THEONIA is a poet and teacher from Brooklyn, where they’re working to externalize interior femme landscapes. They are the author of art book Saw Palmettos, on hormones, community, and the brain-time continuum (Container, 2018) and chapbook Which One Is the Bridge (Topside Press, 2015).

Rabiu Temidayo


 
 
The Glossary Of World History

A dictator is a ruler who has lost total power,
A diplomat is a person in government cleaning the desk, with other countries,
A descendant is someone who comes from within,
A constitution is basic laws that keep people off the lawn
A genocide is an attempt to kill everyone
A guillotine is an instrument for cutting someone’s head
or a poet cross with a heavy blade
A vision is something seen in the mind
A trapper is someone who traps wild animals
A theory is an explanation why something is usually based on scientific study
To recognize is to accept the government deals with business and trade
To migrate is to move away from one to settle in another
To irrigate is to bring water to dry land by means of canals
A liberator is one who frees certain group of people
A front is where the actually fighting is going on
Feudalism is most of Western Europe during the Middle Ages
To forge is to shape by heating
To smuggle is to move secretly because it is against the law,
A scapegoat is a person blamed for the mistakes and problems of others
A pyramid is a square base and four triangular sides
To repeal is to cancel
Representation is presenting the body before the government,
Pollution is the waste materials in the air or water
Nonrenewable means not replaceable
A canal is a manufactured waterway,
Imperialism is the practice of conquering other people’s lands,
To impose is to wish on others,
The parliament is the body of lawmakers,
Resistance is the act of a working class,
Reunification is the act of joining together again.
A sniper is someone who shoots down a hidden spot
A serf is legally tied to the land

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

Plateau

Holding bus tickets and waiting for salvation
at Leventis. I’ve waited for this day
where I could be bought I could be sold by then.
A lorry waits at the entrance to break the entanglement.
Trees just at the shore of the Atlantic wave to a line of sterns.
Every night I hear a goodbye that resembles tì.
An improv painter set his easels before VCD stores,
For an imprint of buses, bellied men in front
of the lottery shops called jè. Which means to win
which is same as to owe.
I owe it to lightships leaving the Lagos Island shore,
almond shade where Chidera makes its way nearer
From microstations and high-rises. P&O Neolloyd
with scrap irons to Jos. Supramatism.
jé èníyan,
A thaumaturge screamed in a starbus.
Jè hung to dry on steel rods like a Paul Cezanne. Outside the window.
Jè means to eat. In the interior Amulo Odofin. Eat
semolina in front of distribution stores, jé èníyan.
ati jè èníyan, a deflection of the tongue.
What do we owe the sea? Acculturation. The air?
Expiration. The land? Experience.
mechanics at the bank of the Atlantic sea beat Chidera together.
Guinnesses roll on to the sea.
jé means to emerge, to abstain, to ease
The painter emerges in the sun and jè paints everything else,
In the quantum level, everything in the spectrum of exchange.
The machine is perfect when there’s nothing else to remove.
Erycaryocytes are renewed every three months.
Cells die and a man reborn every seven years.
Lagos Island in the morning. Buses full are leaving.
The swallows on mainmasts. The National Anthem.
After all these years seeing you at the port, moving
towards north with a plateau of waste, Chidera.

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

7:06PM

I’m touched by the Easter holidays, because they’re
crawling up the ceiling, making the house
heartbeat under the weather changing weather.
There was no way the pain we felt
had a shape


 
 
 
 

**


RABIU TEMIDAYO writes critical essays. He is in school of psychology, he studies art and photography. He reads for Tinderbox Journal. He published Daylight (2018) on Ghost City Press. He is published on Ric Journal, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Selcouth Station, Bone and Ink, etc. @rabiutemidayo

Rhiannon McGavin


Hate Mail_final-1Hate Mail_final-2Hate Mail_final-3

 
 
 
**
 
 
 

rhiannon5rhiannon6rhiannon7

 
 
 
 
 
**


RHIANNON McGAVIN has failed the driver’s license test three times so far. Her work has been published by Tia Chucha Press, The Believer, and Teen Vogue. She is the former Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, as well as the 2019 recipient of the Fred and Edith Herman Memorial Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Her first book Branches is available from Not a Cult.

Justin Allen

Out of the city

For Br’er Bar and the ruins of suburbia

We meet at Br’er Bar
among old books

pens tied
to the tabletops

notations tangle
in the page margins

We cheers
the unusually temperate night

windows open

the breeze brushes
the dark, plush furniture

We clink and chug

scribble
on the walls

THEY CUT
OUR CHEX
SHORT

We don’t trust or agree with everyone among us

Wine
eases tension
among the numerous
Blacknesses

We accept gradience and argue
about how
things went down

Why should we trust the government?
How often have they actually helped us?

We’ve gotten this far
why not believe in possibility?

Possibility wreaks of the American Dream

Plates of veggies steam

a round of shots

another

as we kiss lovers
and ex-lovers
from across
the line

We have yet to outgrow politics that tell us who to fuck

Many of us
at least

Others refuse categories
eschew
national myths

We question gradience
disagree
on how things
went down

Why should the suburbs have been reforested?

We should have never lived that way

The cities aren’t for the planet
They want us all
in one place

We take our last swigs

It’s 21:20

shuffle in the light air
shut the books
grab our stuff

The streets bustle and
we nod at passersby

a gesture extending
across continents
through generations
to those that mirror us

We disagree
on the demonym
Stateser

on its intention

Are we chasing
another
sanguine
myth

or

are we
after centuries
of violence
becoming
each other?

We don’t trust AfroStaters
Who do they mean when they say “we”?

We don’t all call ourselves AfroStatesers
Revs call us that

Don’t call us Revolutionaries or Statesers
Call us Black

We interrogate gradience
among
our Blacknesses

Those of us
conflicting
sit on opposite ends of the bus

We exit the city grid into a verdant expanse

The road winds
through pine trees

headlights slice
through darkness

We pass
edibles
down
the aisle

Almost there?

We’ve never been to a mall
but older family members have

We exit the bus
and enter the ruins

Trees
bust through
the roof
forest floor
replaces
tile

We’re headed to the end
from where music blares

Birds fly overhead
startled by our footsteps

Drugs mix
inside us

perception fuzzy
like a scrim

Music vibrates
amplifies
the deeper

we go

We’re almost there

Just ahead of us

Just ahead

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

140 BPM

For Bossa Nova Civic Club

When
The
Work
Load
Got
Us
Down
The
Bump
Of
Bass
Is
All
We
Have
We
Walk down Myrtle
Below the train
Elevated and rattling
Pass bars, bodegas
Check for a line
And check the time
Cuz
There
Is
No
Charge
Be
Fore
E
Le
Ven
And
We don’t get paid
Until next Friday and
Our rent is due
Tomorrow
And our friends and
Our enemies
Are securing residencies
Solo exhibitions
Being published
Promoted and
Our families
Are calling and
Our families
Aren’t calling
And our lovers
Are calling and
Our lovers
Aren’t calling and
Our fuck buddies
Aren’t answering and
Our application results
Are pending and
We
Need
To
For
Get
For
A
Few
Ow
Werz
Why
We
Pay
Rent
This
High
And
Why
We
Have
Three
Room
Mates
So
We
Have
Come
To
Thicken the atmosphere
To throw our bones
Against
The air
To sweat out
Well drinks
And beer and
Drink well drinks
And beer and
Ask
The
Bar
Ten
Der
For
A
Yer
Ba
Ma
Te
With
Our
Choice
Of
Lick
Or
And
The
Bar
Ten
Der
Pass
Iz
Us
The
Bot
Tull
And
We
Gulp
A
Third
Or
May
Be
Half
And
Pass
It
Back
And
They
Fill
The
Rest
And
We
Pass
Them
Cash
And
Head
Back
To
The
Dance
Floor
Where
We
Mesh
Into the darkness
The proliferation
Outward
Inward and outward
Bending and
Elongating
Stretching and
Dampening
Cotton and nylon
And rayon and
Viscose and wearing
In our sneakers and
Wearing in
Our boots
And throwing
And throwing
And throwing
Undone
Our laces
And throwing undone
Our posture
And hunching and
Arching
And hunching and
Twisting and
Sinking in
To
The body-swamp
The breath-cloud
The muck
Fall
Ing
N
2
Ryth
Um
And
Ben
Ding
2
The
Rih
Thum
And
Suck
Hum
Ing
Tooth
Uh
Rih
Thump
B
Cuz
The
Werk
Lode
Gaught
Us
Down
An
Cuz
Wii
Gaught
2
Fig
Yer
Ow
2
Wii
R
Deep
Down
Deep
Down

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

Grammar

For the island nation of Hatnaha, its infinite metropolis Bat, and my Hatnahans teacher
that could never get me to study

Three people chain their bikes along
A narrow street that teams with foot traffic
Bluish, two-story, cylindrical buildings line
The street infinitely, to the horizon

From the train entrance passersby
Emerge from underground, spill
Into the street that teams with foot traffic
And bustle off in either direction

A calm, pale sun indicates the hour
While no one checks their watches
And one more person parks their bike
Along the narrow street against an inens1

īnens2 line the takukse3 all the way to the horizon
That cradles the calm, pale sun, and a wind
Blows briskly through the narrow street
Where passersby pause to check for rain

follow īnetne4 street-along horizon-to
cradles sun pale horizon topical and blows
street-through narrow bustling wind brisk
Pause check nituksu5-for passersby

Bustle direction-toward either passersby
Stops parks bike person topical another
Street-along narrow bustling inens-against
And governs suddenly street-upon rain heavy

And don’t-have rain-in umbrella I so
Ask passersby I thus find umbrella
Location-in topical thus ask I
Don’t-have snapnanhat6 rain-in I

Search find cover entrance-in train I
Then retrieve bike person topical another
Then retrieve bike person topical another
And speed horizon-to rain-through bikes-on

Scurries street-across cat stray gray wet
Retrieves quickly bike person topical another
Speeds horizon-to rain-through bike-on
Change quickly raincoats-into passersby

Don’t-have nituksu-snīk7 umbrella I
Don’t-have nituksu-snīk snapnanhat I
Don’t-have nituksu-snīk snapnanhat ki8
hamana9 xuk10 is-not smooth Hatnahans my

Regret that is-not smooth Hatnahans my
hamana that dazi11 smooth Hatnahans my
hamana xuk dazi smooth Hatnahans my
hamana xuk dazi skika12 hatnahans kena13

Retrieve bike person topical fourth and speed
Rain-through heavy horizon-to bike-on
Find location-in umbrella thus ask I
Regret that is-not smooth Hatnahans kena

Speed entrance-out-in train passersby
Push speed me-around rough passersby
Announce I that need help I because
Don’t-have nituksu-snīk snapnanhat ki

Stop help me-for passerby one thus
Say passerby-to topical I that
hamana xuk dazi skika hatnahans kena
Speak-could English you thus ask I

Squint they and ask about thus speaking my
Repeat that speak-could English thus ask
Repeat that speak-could English thus ask
Speak-could eknisansi14 nans15 thus ask

Ask thus speak-could Hatnahans you
Repeat thus speak-could Hatnahans you
Speed takukse-tāk16 cat stray gray wet
Say buy umbrella place-at thus ask

Nods understandably and points takuksu-17sēk18
And speeds takukse-tāk and doesn’t say with bye
Look takuksu-sēk I and see snapnanhetne19
Speed entrance-from train and stops suddenly rain

Emerges smoothly clouds-out sun pale calm
Scurries street-across cat stray gray wet
Pause I thus am bewildered humidity-in
And stare down the narrow street leading to the horizon

 
 


 
 
 

 
1 Two or three-story cylindrical stone structure (nominative and vocative case>
2 Plural of inens (nominative and vocative case)
3 street (accusative case)
4 Plural of inens (accusative case)
5 heavy rain (dative and benefactive case)
6 umbrella (accusative case)
7 under
8 I/me
9 I/we regret
10 because/that
11 she/he/it/they is/are not
12 smooth, graceful
13 my/our
14 English (instrumental and comitative case)
15 you (formal)
16 across
17 street (dative and benefactive case)
18 along
19 umbrella shop (accusative case)

 
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JUSTIN ALLEN experiments with performance, writing, linguistics, and the still and moving image to understand our relationships to time, social context, and place. He has performed at Movement Research at the Judson Church, JACK, and ISSUE Project Room, among other venues. He has read his poetry, fiction, and nonfiction at venues such as The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, Kampnagel (Hamburg, Germany), and Artists Space. His work has received support from Franklin Furnace, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The Shed.

ELÆ

 
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ELÆ [LYNNE DESILVA-JOHNSON] is a multimodal creator, scholar and amateur mycologist, addressing intersections between bodies, language, technology, and system change. Recent and forthcoming features include Big Echo, Vestiges, Matters of Feminist Practice, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion, &Now, Ars Electronica / STWST, Dixon Place’s HOT! Festival, Performing Knowledge at the Segal Center Theater and The Exponential Festival. They teach at Pratt Institute, and are Founder/Creative Director of The Operating System.

A door via IG @thetroublewithbartleby, or web: http://onlywhatican.net

TR Brady

 
 

TR Brady Capsized Orchid

 
 
 
 
 

TR Brady Iris

 
 
 
 
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TR BRADY is a writer, fiber artist, and educator. Originally from the Arkansas Delta, she currently lives in Iowa City, Iowa. TR’s writing has recently appeared in Tin House Online, Sixth Finch, Quarterly West, Denver Quarterly, Diagram, Passages North, The Adroit Journal, Pleiades, The Arkansas International, and elsewhere. ​TR holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was a Maytag Fellow and Teaching/Writing Fellow. TR currently teaches at the University of Iowa. With Maggie Nipps she is co-founder and co-editor of Afternoon Visitor, a new quarterly publication of poetry, hybrid text, visual poetry, and visual art.