Ficus Interfaith


We love jelly beans. Introduced in 1976, the eight original jelly bean flavors include Very Cherry, Root Beer, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Lemon, Licorice and Grape. Today, the Very Cherry flavor still reigns supreme as the favorite flavor for all ages in the United States. There was a short period of time (1998-2003) when Buttered Popcorn jelly beans won the popular vote. These are some of our “Dream Jelly Beans” as well as a template for anyone to imagine and illustrate their own dream jelly bean flavors.


FICUS INTERFAITH is a collaboration between Ryan Bush (b. 1990, Colorado) and Raphael Martinez Cohen (b. 1989, New York City).

Their work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Deli Gallery, New York; in lieu, Los Angeles; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Prairie, Chicago, IL; among others including Noplace at P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York, NY and In Practice: Total Disbelief at SculptureCenter, Queens, NY. In 2018, they were artists in residence at 2727 California Street, Berkeley, CA and Shandaken: Storm King, NY and in 2022, they were visiting artists at Longform at Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, MI.

Lindsey Pannor

LINDSEY PANNOR is a poet based in Brooklyn, NY. You can find their current and forthcoming work in bæst, Diagram, 240p by 1080press and elsewhere. She’ll begin an MFA at Brown University this fall.

Ryan Skrabalak












RYAN SKRABALAK‘s latest books are Levitating Scum (Tree Jumps Rainbow, 2023), in which these poems appear, as well as The Technicolor Sycamore 10,000 Afternoon Family Earth Band Revue and Assembled Climate, both forthcoming later this spring and summer. He currently lives in so-called “Lawrence, Kansas” with his dog, Donkey, where he runs and edits the poetry press Spiral Editions and curates the poetry reading series DOGPARK. He is also an instructor at the University of Kansas, a radio DJ, and an organizer for AFT Local 6403.

Jed Munson

Love Letter

There is no letter.

for 규, no

one G would communicate the bend
of 기억, the name

of the letter, which bends
between us, means memory

serves. the greater
river by feeding the lesser, the

many. K would not communicate
your aversion to K’s

harshness. To harshness.

Q would sound like 규, maybe, but,
unmuted, despite its roundness, staked.

in the ground. A tree
by the river at the river’s

its groundedness, even
tuning fork struck

this note through bedrock
rings of



alone would not convey the other
half, the balancing
act of branches

that is 원 holding the silence


of 이응. In winter a tree

still holds its vacance. You
contract s at the edge
of One and grow s outward as
do river s into their s


The Guard

Wood jaw under of

the key
Change s. Keyed
to. The

Of the melody ironing
Out—that which is

Melodized, unrumpling the

note. C

-arries the paper through a crowd. No
Wind but it rustles the half-past

Hour round as
s yoke is

Greening-in, unfastening—that which
is ours is an

H our cut short. An a.m.
of ours. An amour like a flag. At

Half-mast, us evens,
breaks the remote

future I crave
the news—Van, the H
R guy,
the news of delay. Delays the news

of relay.

Of course it snowed as a matter of

Course, it rained

Fact. Also.

You cannot hear me; you are too tired to

speaking of cars, the cars are

that us streets hiss


All and Only

Rain without resumable cause. Concentrating fingers fumble. At Mothernode. Syntax problem builds.

Actual attention spreading mode. Heads only requirement. Trees analytic tools for studying air. One of us trains towards others.

All took exemptions. They live in heads rent-free. Woods guy neverminded into that guy. Wash tall quickly wraparound scrub.

Of course: not-perfect mirror. Pin doubles under scrutiny. Not needled by riddles. Rain taken down from the beginning.

Of path through chart. Moving with rain or because. Of deep structure passing into surface. Nodes flash back.

We live in the middle of nowhere. And I can give you rides whenever, wherever you need.

Trees assume grammatical branches. Grammar assumes roots that end. What is optional is eating noodles. With a fork in noodles.

I unbox. But stiff and scrambled. Tree is optional. Green’s descent.

Draw every possible tree as one. Tree. It is so. Non-one.

It somehow barely resembles anything. The last thing to figure out is the words. Leaping out of the last thing’s order. Of anything left.


어디든, 언제나 [wherever, whenever]

Was it looking at the speed at which rain through trees

makes sense and it isn’t rain’s speed through trees

or the speed of looking at rain through trees


looking for the light pull’s pleasing

weight in my palms counter it

wasn’t light’s


pull or push or light, or weight of one’s breathing-concentrate

on palm’s sweating—or sway, I was sweat and swayed with

the light consume me and I blemish that way ants tickle


peach ooze down the table’s dwindled

Leg. Loneliness on the clean floor. Radiator’s

outside-my-air voice when I turn to be reminded of the bay in every window, not the machine of me whirring


simple stuck wipe up the table leg, song against grains I can’t see

on my knees, desert-vacuumed palm. I half-remember looking up

to feel you there, my admiring your ankles and your knees—how beautifully you are connected


to yourself—unclasping the phrase from my some such mouthing. Was it when we crossed

불광천 on those wide-flat stones the current pushed into place you asked me did I like the rain—no,

not rain, but days of it—비 오는 날들—living at the speed


they force—yes—we were in one and it appeared to only be stretching on my glasses on the outside

of my breath, it comes taking down the day’s 미세먼지 and the last week of blossoms and the light

I slowed to wipe the streaks you slowed

JED MUNSON is the author of several poetry chapbooks, including Minesweeper, winner of the 2022 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook prize. A book of his essays, Commentary on the Birds, is forthcoming with Rescue Press. His writing can be found in Conjunctions, Bat City Review, Vestiges, Annulet, P-QUEUE, and other journals.

Maxwell Rabb


and the August sun is quiet

beneath the heat and speed of Nevada

i trace silhouettes of audible mountains

a vestige
the geometrician steals my iron spine

beetles scrambling

magnified consonants
spiked by hard sand

a gambling swarm
ignored mumbling laughter

spillover noxious language



insect voices yell complicated double knots

i cut prayers for a stoccato god

scalding pedestrians
shut their blinds

paused suffocated by living room edges

hollow cymbal

familiar smokescreen noises

i am wide awake two stink bugs nauseating

release steam above decorative porcelain

bounty fine fabric of raincoats

strangled by mildewy smells for three days–

my blurry radar is showing stones
flattened by the sea salt burden—

vowels to be notated

cutting the lawn
is a neighborhood tremor–

play rotted bones at dulcet frequencies,

and the fake grass is an irreducible obstruction

next to fallen half-cuttings from dogwoods

i picket the granular bone into fresh sod–



stress pathology of sewer flows
as an ocean depth synchronizes on a green diamond

i am ditched at the colossus

barnacle lining grafted fields
this grass-sized muted siren is flayed by a monolithic voice



as oil pools in the base of the frame

i paint a picture of a bull on the ceiling
and there is not enough in the pocket of a giant–

talons of antholites bounce sour sounds
segments of blank space
nestle beneath molting wood sorrels

wrought wasps move frenetically collapsed by vacuum

submerged by the flood of sun rays scorching leather chair

open curtains— shredded

the immutable geometer is killed by his enamel coat

and this rotted obstacle closes

i place dynamite on the counter with plaster birds–

of kinetic departures— a trash fugue

curtailed plastics pile up by middle June
weaving against suffocating living rooms

i am poisoned by its asthenic furnitures–


or a heavy foulness,
anabatic by a multitude of herbs

my words
by a ballet

collecting aerial mint tulips, i am staring
into the sun’s mirror

phases road blocks
of terror traffic


a splintered geometry

pray to weaved
and fragrance vapor

acid bath

spoiled saint parades a silent February
by dancing jokes
crumpled harmonies

i navigate a bismuth garden,
carved into an unconsulted Oklahoma



wisteria sensitive to a cataract whistle
my skin is beginning to break off

convergences of rich blooms
by page length creases

melting point to stale winters
curved to massive appearances of unfamiliar insects

i live drowsy on heated flatlands
and the geometrician practices

a routine of seeing double—





MAXWELL RABB is the author of the chapbook Faster, the Whirl Wheel (Greying Ghost, forthcoming 2023). He lives in Chicago, leaving his heart in New Orleans and Atlanta. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Action Books Blog, Sleeping Fish, mercury firs, and ctrl+v, among others. He is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He co-edits GROTTO.

Jack Jung

“Ding-dong. / Hark! now I hear them,—ding-dong, bell.”

My dad is dying. Who will say, Ding Dong! Hark!
Full fathoms he lies? Will it be me, tolling the bell
Since it already tolls for me? In Noah’s Ark

A camel said, “my hooves still feel the bark
And teeth that herded us here. I prefer the desert hell
Where my dying father sang ding dong to a hawk

Circling above as his soul readied to embark
Toward the promised land. But here I dwell
Since bells already tolled for me in Noah’s Ark

To haste hence and wait for the world’s new spark:
Annihilation in the form of power washing fell
Deeds till death. It’s all a ding dong. But hark,

This water I carry I’ve no use for when all is dark
Floodwaters. I will weep till I’m a shell,
A machine for retold tales inside no one’s ark.”

Noah, a father, fated to be a son’s lark,
Woke up naked. His son had a story to tell.
Ding dong, dad, you made me build your boat. Hark!
Toll for this world was my love for your ark.


“It’s a strange new winter here. You will sleep”

It’s a strange new winter here. You will sleep
And wake up in a body. It will feel as though you ran
All night till you found a lamp lit next to a keep’s

Great gate, opened just enough for one to peep
Inside. You will see a rowdy festival held by a clan
Of new strangers come down for winter sleep

To endure this climate. Food and wine to keep
Them happy, a maskless masquerade for their caravan
That crossed a night to find the lamp of the keep

Welcoming their journey’s end, a herd of sheep
They brought double as blankets. Jealous caveman,
You’ll be the stranger in this new winter. Your sleep

Rudely ended, you will sigh out of your bed leap
And return to the endless cycle of lifespan,
A long night with no lamp to guide you to your keep.

You will suffer it all again as your body weeps
Jumping from one wildfire into another frying pan.
Winter is strange and new. You will choose to sleep
All night to find a lamp as if you’ve a promise to keep.


“The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit”

Those two stars we wished upon were never stars.
Their distance is measured in fruit flesh,
Nightblue splash no larger than fingertip scars,

Units to gauge lifespans spent in fast cars
Like brutes on planisphere hunting for warm flesh.
Guided by stars, wishing our catch weren’t stars

But anything we could swallow and make ours.
A fruit torn swiftly from the tree is as loud as car crash,
Nightblue bruises the size of fingertips turn into scars.

Hand in hand, our steps slow, guided by distant stars,
The shining tips of a tree we turned to ash.
Those two stars we wished upon were never stars,

But embers of the choice we made as co-stars
In the show at the beginning, God’s big flash
Splashing nightblue with His fingertips of light the scars

That still haven’t healed. And that which we are,
We are. Paradise lost for a fruit tasting ash.
Stars we wished upon the first night weren’t stars.
Our nightblue fingertips are covered in gardening scars.


“A Quartz contentment, like a stone –”

In the old clockwork kingdom where needles glide
Above a dial like a figure skater’s blades on ice,
The new electric quartz movement set aside

Was kept in a storage below the lake. I was dock-side
And hawk-eyed. Saw the tremble on icy paradise.
I was old. Kingdom ran like a clock. Needles got all to glide,

High as highest peaks. Subroutines couldn’t provide
Answers to the tinny whir in our hearts. Our vice
Under electric neon moved us. The quartz was set aside,

The answer no one liked. To be loved was to abide
And let the water freeze over the watch from which we hide
In the kingdom that once told time. Needles glide

Above a dial more on design than function’s side
Rounding up to the hour when one pays the price,
Quartz moving in to be the body electric’s new heart. A-side

Of the tape is a song about the lake’s lapping tide
That spit out the beat for the skater to stage her device,
A relic of an old clockwork kingdom where needles glide
In new quartz electric. You move or stand aside.



JACK JUNG studied at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow. He is a co-translator of Yi Sang: Selected Works (Wave Books 2020), the winner of 2021 MLA Prize for a Translation of Literary Work. He currently teaches at Davidson College.

Alan Sondheim












ALAN SONDHEIM is a new media artist, theorist and writer concerned with the phenomenology of the world and body. He has collaborated with motion capture and virtual environment labs. He has had residencies at Eyebeam and the Experimental Television Center, among other venues. Recent work examines virtual and real bodies in relation to mixed realities and codework; and with “states of mind” under extreme conditions.

Sondheim grew up in Kingston, Pennsylvania, in anthracite coal country subject to floods, strikes, and mines. His background was middle class. He attended Brown University, studied English, and releasing several experimental records, mostly through ESP-Disk’, still a leading producer of free music. His most recent release is Galut, 2023, both as CD and online, also through ESP.

In the late 60s, Sondheim moved to New York, where he edited and wrote a number of books, including Individuals: Post-Movement Art in America (Dutton). He moved into video and other tech around 1969, and was in the Paris and Whitney biennials.

He continues to work in video, text, and music/sound; since 1994, he has continued to produce a new online piece daily.

His most recent book is Broken Theory, available from Punctum as a hard copy or free pdf. His video work is mostly online on YouTube, and his writing and other work is indexed on his website.

Adie B. Steckel

The Embodied Voice of David Wojnarowicz: An Essay on Listening

“I think what I really fear about death is the silencing of my voice…”
—David Wojnarowicz, speaking to Cynthia Carr, in Fire in the Belly

In the summer of 1980, five teens coalesced into what would become “the best art rock band in [New York] city.”[1] Among them was David Wojnarowicz. When asked what instrument he played as a member of 3 Teens Kill 4, David’s response was “the tape recorder.” Of his years with 3 Teens Kill 4, David said, “I was in a band. I wasn’t playing traditional music, but using tape recordings of street sounds and conversations and playing them as percussion behind the band.” While David’s tenure with 3 Teens Kill 4 only lasted a couple of years, the work that he started there as a sound artist would inform all phases of his career, wherein tape recorder and voice were medium, sound was form, and speech was theme. Still, even exhaustive descriptions of Wojnarowicz’s career frequently omit his work as a sound artist.


3 Teens Kill Four. Left to right: Doug Bressler, Julie Hair, David Wojnarowicz, Brian Butterick, Jesse Hultberg.


Between 1981 and 1989, David Wojnarowicz sporadically recorded what he called tape journals. Highly anticipated by many, the transcripts of Wojnarowicz’s tape journals, edited by Lisa Darms and David O’Neill, were released in print as Weight of the Earth by Semiotext(e)/Native Agents in 2018. It’s less widely known that a selection of Wojnarowicz’s tape journals from 1989 were also released in 2018 as the triple LP Cross Country by the Brooklyn-based purveyor of audio artifacts, Reading Group.


Weight of the Earth: The Tape Journals of David Wojnarowicz (Semiotext(e)/Native Agents, 2018).


Cross Country (Reading Group, 2018).


There’s something asynchronous—even downright odd—about releasing tape journals on vinyl. Wojnarowicz was solidly of the era of cassette tapes and Super 8. The portability of the tape recorder is what made these recordings possible: David casually lying in bed, shooting up around his apartment, or driving through the southwestern United States with the recorder resting in his lap, the tape unraveling with the road. Listening on my record player, I feel too tethered to big objects that bear no real relation to what I’m listening to. I want to put David’s tapes in a Walkman or in a car tape deck and drive out of the city (my car, of course, does not have a tape player). Would I be better off cueing up the excerpts of Cross Country that can be found on YouTube and strolling through my neighborhood with AirPods?[2] It seems there’s no way to close the gap between myself and Wojnarowicz, no matter how much these tapes make me feel I’m hearing from an old friend. All that said, the power of watching David’s voice travel from vinyl to needle to receiver to speaker is undeniable. The records demand slowing down, sitting still, paying attention. They demand listening to David’s voice.


In his introduction to Weight of the Earth, David Velasco writes, “Just because he’s talking doesn’t mean it’s not literature.” I think that’s true, and the value of Darms and O’Neill’s transcripts is obvious. Velasco says it best: “The final image of these tapes is of a single car stopping for a red light, like it’s a fucking F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.” Still, literature wasn’t Wojnarowicz’s intent. Wojnarowicz was highly attuned to the archive that he would leave behind, and he left the tapes un-transcribed. Listening to the audio reminds me that these tapes were, at their very core, about embodied speech and the desire to be heard. Cross Country draws necessary attention to David’s voice and makes hearing him—something he wanted desperately—possible.


My copy of Weight of the Earth, annotated while listening to Cross Country.


Despite being a triple-LP, Cross Country only includes tape journals from February through June of 1989. Separating the later tapes out from the 1981-1982 tapes is powerful—in the seven years between these batches of tape journals, Wojnarowicz’s world had collapsed. The scale of loss that Wojnarowicz witnessed in New York City in the mid-1980’s is incalculable. During this period, death, once a distant abstraction, became a concrete reality that weighed heavily on Wojnarowicz. In 1982, the year that the acronym AIDS emerged, David spoke into the recorder: “Whenever I think of death it’s projected way in the future.” By 1989, Wojnarowicz was a year into his own diagnosis, Peter Hujar had died, and there was an immediacy to the question: “Really I just don’t want to fucking die.” Over the course of these years, Wojnarowicz’s relationship to language and speech shifted dramatically. Wojnarowicz transitioned from self-conscious about speaking (“How I feel is self-conscious about anything I say,” 1982) to disillusioned by speech itself:

I hate what words are like. I hate the idea of putting these performed gestures on the tip of my tongue or through my lips or through the inside of my mouth, forming sounds to approximate something that’s like a cyclone, or something that’s like a flood, or something that’s like a weather system that’s out of control, that’s dangerous, that’s alarming. (1989)

In Fire in the Belly, Cynthia Carr says, “David once told me he used to long for acceptance from other people. Then he began to value the way he didn’t fit in. He realized his uneasiness with the world is where his work came from.” David, once preoccupied with social norms, was transformed by witnessing mass death and staring down the prospect of his own. He was newly compelled to speak, but at the same time, his new reality broke down language and rendered it totally inadequate, even violent. Cross Country gives us intimate access to living within this catch-22 and the intensity of David’s struggle with language amidst the turmoil of AIDS in the late 1980’s. In spite of his hatred of language, Wojnarowicz never abandoned his commitment to speech. If anything, he appears to have become more invested in it, the catch-22 providing an essential fuel for all his later work.


In 1989, just two years after the advent of the iconic SILENCE=DEATH campaign, Wojnarowicz first performed ITSOFOMO (In The Shadow of Forward Motion), a genre-defying sound art masterpiece brimming with his voice, at The Kitchen, Chelsea’s multidisciplinary and avant-garde performance art melting pot. By the time Wojnarowicz was working on ITSOFOMO, he was also imagining his corpse laid bare on the steps of Congress. ITSOFOMO, a collaboration with musician and composer Ben Neill, was first recorded in 1991 and released on CD by New Tone in 1992, the year of David’s death. ITSOFOMO is an ambitious experiment in sound collage, pulling together David’s voice (certainly reminiscent of his tape recordings) the otherworldly wailing of Neill’s mutantrumpet, sporadic percussion, and Southern American ethnomusic inspired by Antonin Artaud’s radio adaptation of TO PASS FINAL JUDGEMENT ON GOD (translated from the French), a piece railing against American imperialism.


ITSOFOMO (Jabs Records, 2018).


ITSOFOMO opens with a diaristic account of David in looking out the window of a dying man’s hospital room (presumably Peter Hujar). His words are, in equal measure, interior and cinematic. Various noises—both white and as specifically yellow as piss hitting the pot—form a variously soothing and agitated backdrop to David’s smooth, calculated speech, undeniably sexual, yet modest, and then increasingly urgent, increasingly distraught as he can’t get this man to the bathroom: “I felt my body thrumming with the sounds of vessels of blood and muscles contracting and the sounds of aging and of disintegration. The sound of something made ridiculous with language. The sense of loving and the sense of fear.” This first track, “Living Close to the Knives: Liberty,” is a sonic crescendo to rage: “Rage—a perfect rage I was beginning to understand. Seeing myself hovering in the atmosphere or outside the building’s walls and wanting a shout to come from my throat, a shout that would level all the buildings.” The crescendo mirrors the experience of dissociation—the transition from a deeply embodied “humming and thrumming” to a trauma-induced departure from one’s body. For Wojnarowicz, silence and disembodiment were twinned. Resistance came through the throat.


In many ways, ITSOFOMO sounds like the full realization of Wojnarowicz’s early impulse to render his voice an instrument in a way he never quite could in the context of 3 Teens Kill 4. In conversation with Sylvère Lotringer, former bandmate Julie Hair said of Wojnarowicz, “He had more complex ideas about what he wanted to do artistically that could not be accomplished in a band situation.”[3] Ultimately, with ITSOFOMO, the individualistic impulses that propelled him away from 3 Teens Kill 4 were allowed to flourish; backed by Neill, ITSOFOMO was Wojnarowicz’s vision executed. While the texts David read at the Kitchen in 1989 would ultimately go on to be published in Wojnarowicz’s great Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration, it should not be forgotten that they were first spoken aloud—they are performance pieces, meant to be spoken, meant to be listened to.


In 2018 (the same year Reading Group released Cross Country), ITSOFOMO got its first and only vinyl pressing (Jabs Records) in conjunction with a major retrospective on Wojnarowicz’s work at The Whitney, History Keeps Me Awake At Night. The Whitney retrospective was controversial, as any showing of Wojnarowicz’s work by a corporate art institution will be. Evan Moffitt wrote for Frieze:

The glittering new Whitney, capstone on the tourist-clogged High Line – itself a promenade for sexless ‘selfie’ cruising – is in some ways complicit in the neighbourhood’s gentrification, a fact that goes unacknowledged here. It’s not hard to imagine Wojnarowicz’s ire at the institution parked on the ruins of a place he called ‘the real MoMA’, once a site of erotic and creative frisson between the classes, and now a monument to wealth.

In contrast to the Whitney exhibition, which de-historicized Wojnarowicz’s work, failing to even mention ACT UP, a portion of proceeds from ITSOFOMO vinyl sales go to Visual AIDS, which the album’s liner notes remind us, “utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over.”


These recent engagements have skyrocketed Wojnarowicz into mainstream public consciousness, and today, David’s voice is especially close to the knives of commodification. In 2021, Daniel Levy arrived at the Met Gala clad in a mutilated adaptation of one of Wojnarowicz’s most recognizable paintings. Levy carried a handbag smothered in another iconic Wojnarowicz piece—an untitled black and white portrait of a young David surrounded by text relaying the homophobia this boy will encounter—the physical and political violence that will be enacted on his body. Surely Wojnarowicz, anti-capitalist to the core, would be rolling on the steps of Congress if he saw his work so severed from the reality that some 650,000 people still die of complications from AIDS each year. This severing is also a form of silencing. David’s voice remains under constant threat from forces coming from multiple directions—from censorship on one side (most recently, in 2011, the Smithsonian pulled “A Fire in My Belly” from its exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture), and commodification and appropriation on the other. It comes as no surprise that efforts to silence Wojnarowicz have outlived him.


For Wojnarowicz, silence equaled a swift and permanent death. Speaking, on the other hand, meant a life accounted for, and the possibility of leaving a trace on this heavy earth. Listening to Cross Country and ITSOFOMO, it feels as if David sensed he might somehow speak himself out of oblivion. As Sylvère Lotringer wrote in 1992, “ITSOFOMO’s forward motion becomes a battle to reclaim the organism of life.”[4] Indeed, the life of David’s voice, persists through these records. The sound of his saliva, the weight of his tongue, his lips, his voice, right here, in my ears.


[1]East Village Eye, Dec. 1983.

[2]Since writing this, these videos have been pulled from YouTube.

[3]A Definitive History of Five or Six Years on the Lower East Side (Semiotext(e)/Native Agents, 2006).

[4]From the liner notes to the 1992 release of ITSOFOMO (New Tone).



ADIE B. STECKEL lives in Portland, Oregon, where they work for an HIV/AIDS health and social services nonprofit and co-edit the small press and literary record label Fonograf Editions. Their writing appears in Annulet, Dream Pop, Full Stop, and Harbor Review, in addition to Old Pal Magazine, where a sequence of epistolary poems for David Wojnarowicz from a manuscript called DAVID were published earlier this year.