The Color of Beach Sand- Kindra M. Austin

We had you pushed into the furnace;

spoiling organs and

leaking skin were

burned away.

Your pulverized bones

resemble beach sand in

Tawas,

fittingly.  

 

Abandoned the wagon

again,

Cos I’m a goddamned tyrant,

missing you, Mother—

been consuming for two

twelve hours, and I

will continue to imbibe until my barbican

heart has been razed.

This early morning,

trust,

I’ll make it to market by noon—

I learned how to function from you.

 

Mother,

are you proud of me,

still?

I ask your ashes kept in

keepsake urns. Ashes—

granules, the color of

beach sand.

Tempus fugit-Erich Michaels

I imagined walking across the ocean floor
The immortal lobsters and jellyfish my friends
I said, “I wish I didn’t have to breathe.”
I thought of wasted time and dreams deferred
Of taking this split life and making it whole
I said, “I wish I didn’t need to sleep.”
I thought of money wasted, as hard to swallow
Of elevating myself above base needs
I said, “I wish I didn’t need to eat.”
I thought of myself as being set free
My life as a slave to the clock departed
She said, “Stop it! Why wish for death?”
Confused, I reflected on what I had said
Of what could be gained by being free of need
No need to breathe, sleep or eat
It was at that moment I realized
Just what I had really wished for


Erich Michaels describes himself as  “just trying to share the human experience.”  He has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, but find himself writing SOPs (lather, rinse, repeat) in order to make a living, which can be detrimental to the creative process.  You can find him on the road to recovery at Erich Michaels.  Every journey begins with a single step, right?

Nathan McCool – Divine

It’s all been Russian roulette and the game 

was rigged from the start. So,

you dear and distant god, what am I to 

make of these small moments between 

the hammer and the head?

 

Allow me this thought:

The clouds that are expelled from me

into winter’s dusk no longer take the form

of myth or fancy as they are painted 

against a dying sun. They are cotton candy 

caricatures of a man in the act of

self immolation.

I believe perhaps all of this has been a walk

down Saigon Road, and I’m now coming to sit calmly

without movement or sound at this intersection 

 

The world I have seen is a nuclei, and 

I am an electron in sporadic oscillation all around it.

I may leave at any given moment to bring 

the clouds of another world to wholeness

or part from them to expose them to the 

ultra violence of ultraviolet light.

 

Because I no longer know what I’m really staying for.

To witness war or the loss of love?

To watch children absorbed into the earth

or for them to wander off from innocence 

into the people they will become?

 

At this point I no longer truly think of ends,

just the momentum of the moment. 

I’ll one day have a grave like a laceration 

upon the flesh of the earth,

and you’ll all pour me in like salt.

But that is a moment with no meaning for me.

 

But in existence,

where misery takes up residence in my bed

so often I’ve taken to calling her “baby”,

I am an entity and an element.

In existence, I have lost more than I have

ever received; and carry more demons 

than I do pores of my skin.

 

Nothing out there cares if I got my druthers,

but I’ll let you know:

If you were to force me to live this innumerable times,

I’d sink these jagged teeth into life 

all over again.


 

x-posted

[Nathan McCool is actually so cool, I can’t stand it. You can find the haint, dusk, and sizzling of his concrete snares on Instagram, or at his blog, Mist of Melancholia.]

It’s no comfort – Samantha Lucero

It’s no comfort knowing that you’re buried,
deep down, taking earth around you
like blankets that fall apart and crawl.

But seasons still disrobed like actors
backstage in a play, in front of
everyone. Even with you
gone, the world moved on.
And I watched. We all did.
Forced to watch, without you,
with seasons pouring the years
between us in vanishing old flannel,
smelling like Salem filter kings,
soft.

Spring grew through us both
like a blade.
And you died in the summer.

A diamond in that box
they buried you in, deep down,
where you fall apart and crawl, too,
by now. Still waiting to be proposed,
like the plan to go back to Santa Fe.

Sometimes I wait for you to show,
maybe at the movie I go to alone,
sitting next to me when I peek over
in the flickering dark.
You could come around a corner
on a walk, and
not even say hello.

When I die, leave my eyes wide open
let them see that I’m dead.
Then burn me,
take my ashes to the Burren
where the wind will tear me apart
and take me farther away.
And my daughters can’t go to my
grave and wonder
Is she alive down there?
Please be alive,
somewhere.

They can breathe me in
Or taste me instead.
when they lick their lips
after swimming in the sea.

And you’ll still be in that box,
waiting to go back to Santa Fe.

 


 

[Samantha Lucero does six red seeds.]

Daffodils

By Oldepunk

Daffodil

The smell of rotting agendas always waft in your wake.  I’ve grown accustomed to your sand storm daffodils.  It’s not what you once were, but what you could be that still intrigues me.  Potential, potentially terminal, with velocity.  Sniper taking aim, the looks you throw with abandon.  I lie still sometimes and pretend I can hear the screaming in your eyes.  I would have given it all for you, you know.  I do not think it would have mattered to you.  You are the song Reptile by The Church.  I can see you sauntering and stalking in the sun by the beach every time I hear that song.  Which is often, ’cause I like to pick at open wounds.  The bloody mouth of puckering pink skin attempting to heal is such a turn on and a visceral reminder of your violence, my violet-skinned lecher.  Your Krispy Kreme coochy-coos hardening my arteries.  And then, slow syrupy suicidal sex. Something in me went dormant when you left.  I vaguely remember why, but it’s fuzzy like flash backs from a blackout or a bad trip.  Which I only had once or twice, but that was more than enough to keep from doing it again.  I would for you though, if you wanted to.  Crashing around in the forest at dusk under deep November skies and yelling fuck-all to the universe.  You were always the spark that started Devil’s Night.  A goddess of Bacchus’ loins.  There was nothing I would not have done for you.  I died when you left.  The husk remains, with the frozen portraits of your jack o’lantern smile burned into my retinas.  My skin still shudders with the traces of your touch.  My gypsy witch, evil love cursing the hearts around you like a speedball on fentanyl on meth that is the last run of the roller coaster and heart is pounding and I will be with you soon and my veins are flame and my heart is a jackhammer and I will be in you soon and I will kill you soon and soon I am coming for you my beautiful malady with the melody of death on my lips… and a fistful of sand storm daffodils.

 

image courtesy of Pinterest and Awkward Family Photos

bogged, buried, bridgewatered-Lois E. Linkens & Malicia Frost/Malicia’s Malebolge

I was fourteen, and starting to decompose faster

the water spilled

over the years,

over her body

like a plague of ants.

Already kneeling in the mud

I could feel my body being stretched out 

nipples aching, labia swelling

it drove its way in,

with a silent battering ram

and swords of silk.

you were the first time

I felt the touch of death 

between my legs

oh, hateful –
but grateful she was
that the stone struck when it did.

a cry of despair,
like when I was nine,
lying on the hard parquet floor of the living room
cupping my breasts,
trying to push the knots back in
I’m just a child! I’m just a child!

she lifted dead hands
in praise of her protector,
for protect her he had,
and as layers of dirt built up,

I threw rocks after boys
who came yelling my name

she pitied them,
Leave me alone! Leave me alone!
And oh,
didn’t you know?
You’re supposed to bleed

bound to lie
in pungent darkness
that she only made danker.

Year by year,
as my body sank down in the bog
I grew more and more desperate
searching for ways to cleanse myself
an orgasm,
a reckless mascara plump on the cheek,
a slit wrist,
an aching need
for affirmation
the summary of an entire childhood,
tucked into a bra

the sores on her skin
filled with soil,

all girly things are good,

the scars on her arms

bright in the black of the bog

all girls to learn how to play nicely

how to decay without a sound

compressing yourself into a fossilized smile,

a blindfold

and a constantly repeating

“yes, I forgive you”


Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and we ask you to take a second to look at more of her wonderful work.
Malicia Frost, or Henna, is 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.]

‘ This mess we’re in ‘ – Collaborative – S.K. Nicholas & Samantha Lucero

 

   the lights are always on now, no one ever sleeps.

   i am one of those dreamless alien lights; one of those nobody’s cradled in the teeth of a high-rise window. my building’s a fang that pierces an eye of god. i loved you more because you turned away from me.

   i stare at my reflection until i become the memory of you; until i am become death and stones in pockets, and the formless outside in the velvet dark. you, the ghost that rushes in the corner of my eye, the reason i wear lace when it rains. i’m trying to read your mind, wherever it’s gone, but i can’t. i try to unearth the sandalwood smear of you on my walls and in between my fingers, but you’re not there. i’m not there either, not anymore.

   and so i’ll go to the hudson where they sell fire for your throat when you can’t weep or scream, where there’s bad news in the laughter and they find you floating the morning after.

   this mess we’re in will be over before it can begin.

   With a rock in my hand, I lay you down and taste the sweetness of your lips. I make you pretty and breathe in a scent that tickles me just right. With my fingers around your throat, I squeeze them tight and tell you that I want so much to believe. Among a bed of roses in a part of town others have no need to tread, I watch over you as the sun is replaced by the milk-white moon that makes you look like a porcelain doll my sister used to own. You, my beautiful secret. You, my only regret. You, the only one who knows me for how I am. Sit with me a while and hear my reasons. Give me a little time to tell you how this came to be. Speak some truth to heal these sins. Say something that will ease our passage to a place we were never meant to resist.

   With a rock in my hand, you move with such speed. Like a cat, you twist and turn as I stumble trying so hard to make it known that despite my deeds, I am indeed a good man. But the more you fight against it, the harder it is. The more you move away the closer I come until the only way I can make you understand is for you to see a part of me I try so hard to hide. Hitching up your skirt and sliding down those tights, I smear your lipstick and kiss your throat. Touching you where I feel God the most, I whisper to you knowing there will be no answer. Pulling your hair and sinking my fingers into the ground beneath your head, I hear no birds. I sense no movement at all as the world we used to know turns without us.

   This mess we’re in will be over before we know it.

   i could be the smooth arms of angrboda.

   i could hunt the heat lost in you somewhere like a tremble of life, find the skeleton key that unlocks all locked doors. i could keep one dying secret down in flames. i could birth in kerosene the chained wolf-child, your half-dead maid, an immense snake that cradles the sea. we could be the myth. we could be the end, for fragments like us to fit in life’s hands, full of dirt.

   i’m spit miscarried on grass, i’m all the things i thought, except the thing i could’ve been. i’m lost in my head, and you want me here. swallowing all six red seeds, I still starve in spring. i like it in the dark, with you believing, and you want me to believe in good men, when they would bury vestals alone with a lamp. leave me on a road that i can hitch hike to hell on and think, think… !

   think about a time in red converse. stepping on your toes just to get a close up, listen low so no one else can hear, fuck them, late night in a leather jacket and a pin with a gold tooth and vampire fangs. warning label. 2 packs of american spirits until we’re dry, and anne boelyn’s ghost in the tower of london. a grin of blood they never found on the wall. hell can be real. it’s here; but your face in my hands, watching me cry, that’s worth it.

   “time is a flat circle.”

   if we have one moment that matters,

   this mess we’re in can happen over and over again.

   With a rock in my hand, I use the other to cradle the base of your skull. You used to be my woman. You used to be my girl, but you just wouldn’t be tamed. I never wanted to clip your wings. No, I never wished to see you like that at all, but you never gave me a choice. I could’ve been your man, could’ve been that someone to watch over you when you needed a friend. I was here to give you all of this, yet you went a different way. You gave yourself to those who know only how to betray. It should never have come to this, but what was I supposed to do? Just allow it? Just let you fall further from grace? I’m not a monster, I’m a poet, and all I ever wanted was for you to know it. It was your choice to make.

   With a rock in my hand, I dig the soil with the other. You speak to me but it’s too late. I’ve made up my mind. And yet this isn’t the end. You are the seed that shall be planted. You are the nucleus of what I shall become. You will be mother and lover, and as I lay you down and watch you grow, the past and the future are already dancing on the same page. You have this voice but it needs to be silenced so I can hear what you have to say. You have this beauty but I need to cover it because others will surely come and attempt to sniff you out yet again. Y’know, I’ve never been this open with anyone but you. Never had the chance to be so close. It’s not how you wanted it, I’m sure, but with time you will understand, I can feel it in my bones.

   This mess we’re in gives birth to everything.


S.K. Nicholas is the man at a haunted hotel, alone on a snowy night, trying not to have a drink at My Red Abyss, and Samantha Lucero is the crumbling, lone grave on a hill poking out like a little rotten tooth at Six Red Seeds. ]