1. – samantha lucero

a city map is sewn in the scalp;
+++looped in the goat-milk, or spit out,
tongued in silky blades of stomped
+++down grass.

i’m crowned with high-pitched fingers
+++clenched in fur.
in octaves only shades can bear, i simmer
+++in their holy cradles.
i become the roughened corner of a mouth
+++grinning at its own joke.

there, the receding home in ranch-style polaroid’s of a dirty blond stranger and my mother squinting in the sun; some home not mine or yours.

ventricles, which
+++in a woman’s left grows tiny,
and in a man’s more supple.
+++i keep alive by milking goats.

some like lifelines, some like ulcers
the city streets are braided in my hair.


Samantha Lucero writes at sixredseeds.

 

Figments of a Mania – Henna Sjöblom

tumblr_ok52fo4g8l1ro66eeo4_540

 

I saw her in the dark of my eye

stretched out on a polyester blanket,

puffed-up cheeks and threads of pink bubblegum stuck to her hair
the /maggot-eaten/ stockings barely covering up the /cigarette burns/ along her legs
riffles trough the pages of the /holy/ bible, decides she doesn’t have time

patient may sometimes experience feelings of irritability,                   grandiosity, or an increase in sexual desires

I masturbated to the image that night
and called /my own/ name as I came, arrogant god that I am,
wrapped up in my own, gluttonous plane of existence
I would grab a stake and drive it trough my uterus
So that my guts would spill out, drenching your immobilized body
beneath me
and you would cry out /in bliss/
knowing the

true exemption

of being defeated

before I was holy, I used to know shame
I made up lists of people I /couldn’t/ touch
sanctimonious beacons of chastity

I later took pleasure
in tearing apart                  patient tends to be outgoing,

easily angered,
I defile
/everything/
and
/everyone/
I find desirable

each day, my idols grow smaller

                                                     or could it be that I am growing bigger
It’s hard to see from inside the Taurus’s jaws
so I do as advised, save my apologies for another day
and succumb to the feeling
of walking on thin, crystal ice
waiting for the finned shadows
inevitably about to snatch me back to the depths
from which I arise,
the /drowned/ queen of the two-faced

 

[Murder Tramp Birthday, previously Malicia Frost, in real life known as Henna, a hobbyist writer and an aspiring novelist from Finland. She enjoys surrealism, sci-fi and horror, and her writing often deals with mental illness. More of her works can be found at her personal blog.]

Introducing N. Ian McCarthy

A Drift of Dead Comics
by N. Ian McCarthy

       You lay, balanced flat across the colonnade of my fingers. A lower-left corner wags with the intervallic oscillation of a floor fan—the limb of a cotton bed sheet, straddling a clotheswire in the wind. You are almost a breathing thing: the impulse of a contracting diaphragm. You are the sucking gill of an angled fish, one who cannot oxygenate without water. My wax lips strain around the vowels of an invented dialect, during the seventh minute of my resistance to pick at the flat-folded staples that run up the split of your faulted spine. Do I engender a quake that will defoliate your season of autumn? Can I scatter your sheets like loose cedar shavings, as mulch for the bed of my own Silk Road?

            I am the yellow-eyed cat, lean and starved, who ladles the spoon of his tongue into the dish of the remainder of your souring cream. I mount a low mangrove branch to bay into the charcoal square of your nighttime doorway. Come not for me or for anyone. You are a reliquary of mutable fictions, and you behoove no further corporal appearances.

       Are you more than the sum of your linearly arranged innards—this cardboard box lined with plastic sleeves and white splints to keep your keepsakes from creasing? Are you only your cut-to-fit pages printed in four-color process? Value is a future thing, fuzzy, until the future appraises it. I hold you by your edges and delicately, like a cautious amateur rolling through brittle Egyptian papyrus. And, in the ball of this lamplight, I become a tonsured vulture who stabs the vice of his beak into a gob of your dried rib meat.

       Six years ago, I misplaced my hat at a bar ringed by soot-black acres of potato dirt, where notes of vinegar from a nearby canning plant punctuated the inferences of my nose. It was a driving cap, sewn with a damask label boasting Donegal Tweed on the bowl of its belly. The memory of its passing is an ash steeped in smudgy tumblers of neat whiskey—as all things that transpire while drunk are contractually forfeited upon embarkation. The recently tangible became only a murmur in the chill of my morning baldness. Am I more than those thick, raspy hands? The ones that likely scrubbed over its green-and-brown woven fibers? Is there any molecule of me still stitched into the band of its fit? Or do I become a novelty, minus all personal history, as is the fate of any found and inherited thing? Do I exist in a green garbage pile, awaiting my delivery unto the heap? Or am I hung lightly on a wood knob, in the corner of room buoyed by festive music?

       May the serialized volumes of my being—like yours—be bound in clear plastic sheaths and filed horizontally by issue number, their values cataloged and fondled by speculators. In my collection, a body-warm cap, tumbled from the crown of a quite common skull. Worth is a fuzzy thing, indeterminate without precise coordinates in space and in time. Permanence is a windblown page printed in chalk.

 


[ N. Ian McCarthy lives in the southern United States, where he writes poetry and brief prose. His works have appeared on cocktail napkins and in bifold restaurant placemats since the early 2000s. He believes in the principle of essential human worth and in the incomparable value of stories and experiences; he hopes that by attempting to understand better, we attempt to be better. He’s been fascinated by outer space since boyhood, though he has an irrational fear of gas giants. He maintains a small blog at Mad Bongo Maze.]

Surface Dweller – 1Wise-Woman

Prison of promises
Delusions for the damned
Lies and betrayal
Death comes in intervals
Layer upon layer
Until all that is left are
Living dead
Shuffling round my head
Knocking at the door
Needing more
Offering less
Say you will save me
Whispering I love you
Behind my back
Fingers crossed
Soul stealer
Contradictions collect
In cranial crevices
Where absurdity blurs
Redundant reality
Devil keeps me company
Tap tap tapping claws
On protruding spine
Reciting rhymes
Psalms of sacrifice
Fracturing fault lines
Interrupting time
Minutia mocks me
Days become weeks
Become months
Become hell on earth
Eroded
Dusted eyes
Search ashen skies
Stifling cries
Regurgitated hope
Assures every ending
Begets a new beginning
Rueful rebirth
I’m waiting
Gunpowder on my breath
Surface dwellers
Feign faith
While I die my last death


[1Wise-Woman: “I am living, fighting, and thriving with mental illness and chronic disease and a need to express myself. Writing eases some of the weight I carry.” When she isn’t yanking shadowy strands of leathery clumps of unconscious, and tenderly placing them into word documents, she is creating at A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave.]

BRIMFUL OF GRIM 2 – Collaboration – A.G. Diedericks & Kindra M. Austin

He is the rain on a cold grey day—

the arthritis that ravages my bones

and when he breathes, it’s a Nor’easter wind—

I’m blown apart; shattered;

scattered; kicked about like autumn leaves,

dead

 

Unwritten letters from our post-mortem breathe life into her apparition

Like the weather; she returns to season fresh wounds

Blood pressure tantamount to a volcanic mountain; she hikes my temperature

 

Fuego, fuego! I give him fever; raze his green earth

while he does freeze mine

I exhale phantoms in billowing bursts

and weep for the fugitive memories

 

Her frosted ribcage collides with the arson in my heart; two souls, cremated

We paint every town red;

Ours is a match that burns all bridges

We’re on a road to revive the great depression

 

Ghouls are we without restitution—

to Hell with intuition

Gods warring are we without resolution—

fuck the institution

 

I suck on his brimstone,

a brimful of grim, and he grins with Cheshire teeth

tucked tightly in his head

 

With us there’s no cease fire; no coalition

Be it life or death, our ashes will always blow in the same direction


 

[ This piece is the conclusion to Brimful of Grim, Part 1. ]

 


 

A.G. Diedericks is the groundskeeper of Morality Park, where he lures in lost souls. ]

Kindra M. Austin is an author (information on her book can be found here), artist, and a Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan—Go Detroit Red Wings! She likes her drinks corpse stiff, music loud as fuck, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.]

 

Suckerpunch, the Second Coming – Henna Sjöblom

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Have you ever tasted true revenge?
Ever feared the loss of a wound more sacred
than the hollowed out palms of Christ?

I’ll tell you, I dip my knuckles in holy water after each defeat,
so that soon my skin will be impenetrable. I charge my gun with self-pity,
coat my blade with spite.
Don’t talk to me, I grin.
I am self-destructive.

Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not stigmatizing, and I can’t be a martyr, as I never bowed to anyone.
Who the fuck set the rules anyway?
I’m a bloody artist, displaying slashes as exhibits in a showcase,
and I take pride in my performance,
but presenting wounds won’t omit the truth,
and the truth is
I’ve never felt better

Than the night I woke up in the hospital,
screaming,
chains rattling around my wrists.
Nurses with faces made of paint scrapers.
Is that what I am?
An exhibit
in need of restoration?
Or the answer to the sarcastic questions
generally asked by horny men around their 50’s?

I’ll tell you what I am.
I am too big for this place.
Acid-tripping deicide angel,
fast-forwarding trough my own rapture.
Unashamed,
unrefined,
I am what mourning widows sing of
on their way to the gallows pole.
We’re the girls that already died once.
We don’t need anyone else.

 

[Murder Tramp Birthday, previously Malicia Frost, dropped the disguise and is now publishing under her real name on SD. A hobbyist writer and an aspiring novelist from Finland, she enjoys surrealism, sci-fi and horror, and her works often deal with mental illness. More of her works can be found at her personal blog.]

The Fermi Paradox Revisited – Henna Sjöblom

strangers_in_the_night_by_marrrakesh

 

fermi1

I had a panic attack in the street once.
I couldn’t go home, so
I just sat on the ground, screaming,
my makeup smeared all over my face, my nose blazing red like Rudolph the Reindeer’s, and the sounds erupting from my mouth were not some modest sniffles or erotic sighs, but hideous, wet gargles as of a jellyfish being dropped into a juice blender.

fermi2

fermi3

No one would look at me.
Everyone passed by in a hurry, acting as if I was a spot on their retina, a threat to the orderly society. The madness that lures behind the corner as we sit crouched in silence, pondering the significance of emphatic connection

fermi4

Stuck on the wrong frequency
I adjust my vocal chords again
humming sweet nothings into the radio transmitter
A distress-call from a dying race

fermi5

Knowledge of our ultimate uselessness
has been a splinter dug into my backbone, ticking in dissonance with my pulse
fermi6
I reach my slashed wrists out to grab a corner of your coat
Please, sir! If you think I’m good, let me know now, I won’t last very long
supernovae burn too bright and fade too soon
bringing entire galaxies down with them

fermi7

I see you walk by as I peek out trough the window blinds,
(your greasy hair flapping against your neck
your cheeks fat with self-righteousness)
and after all of this,
all I can think is
who the fuck were you to me?
There’s no intergalactic rescue service
coming to our aid when we abandon our ideals and give up on adoration
how could we obtain the interest of an extraterrestrial life form
when we don’t even bother to try and understand each other?
to sate my cosmic homesickness
I turn to the faces of passers-by
but their distrait eyes only reflect what I already know

fermi8

 

 

[Murder Tramp Birthday, previously Malicia Frost, dropped the disguise and is now publishing under her real name on SD. A hobbyist writer and an aspiring novelist from Finland, she enjoys surrealism, sci-fi and horror, and her works often deal with mental illness. More of her works can be found at her personal blog.]