Trevor Bashaw

                                                    i             i             i
                                                             into my
                    there is a radio tower in my backyard. it is a
                    metal structure gunmetal grey spiny and curt.
                    there in the cold               deceit of sunshine.
                    winter slush on         sidewalk compacted into
                    ashy clumps of       grey brown blue and white
                    bitter to the sight,     singing the hands, winds
                    howling clementines     and fried rice wafting
                    down outdoor corridors             made marble
                    in my mind, a glass sphere of solitude  where
                    i merely watch. i merely listen and learn what
                    the world needs me to learn, say what the world
                    needs me to say - i try not to get in the way of it,
                               The 5G speaking through me…

did you know the spinal column forms a weak radio transceiver? like a tower of teeth     notched into one                another, gnawing against each other, gnashing    eternally gritted in harmony, fused with
white-gum-sponge. our bodies are receivers of a tenuous consciousness from    the universal holofractal
simulation. quantum entangled         with a soul. antennae tuned into a personal frequency.
                                              our natural resonance …
                                    when     disturbed one     might    say,
                                            “vibes are off.”  “i get bad energy.”
                                             ears may ring.     blood pressure
                                             may change,         or blood sugar.
                                             agitation of floaters     in the eyes, they may begin     to move                                                                  erratically. one can learn to guard it. one can    learn to tune into
                                             one's own melody and harmonize it with the surrounding space.
one can     hollow out ones brain to create    more room for
                alien contact.

O Alien light beings    please
take me away. please deliver me from solitude, please
show me the     path     of     dreams quilted into the
                       fabric of homosexual existence.

                    take these wrinkles, unsightly things,
                       webbings         tingle,     crinkled
                                veins crumple         in paper
                                            canyons of     eroded rock
                                   or bunched     vellum. pane
                                            of glass,    shattered
                                    lacerations,     stress marks
                                    stretch—these indications of wear

the heart     the window in the throat
the raw red    hinges on the throat
congeal     with     resuscitation, spoken
like a rope maw drawn tight like curtains
on a rod, crunched linens - undrawn - then light shines in ❃

Flung de nuevo back

Lauren Mallett

            Todo era dread etcetera the stars.
Era as in continuous, insurmountable
pasado. ¿What was that I liked el sonido de?
Cristal mojado de un wand de copal
quemado. Wand porque oh resin and blaze.
Fue la locura, su grey caracol trail.
         The hills sin embargo aflame. Why not
change to the present? ¿Y abandonaría
mis tiempos verbales, let go my conjugations
for ese terreno, la amenaza de get fucked
or die horribly, tanta brumosa de sleep?
            Nunca estuve de acuerdo with my front teeth
knitting themselves together. The adult thing
to do: watch the trebuchets hurl fireballs
into the oft beyond. Las estrellas aren’t out,
carnala. I’m trying hard to keep them that way.
             Entonces all my ammunition flung de nuevo
back to the bowl como errores crossed out
kindly que todavía yo sé which were pebbles
set encurvadas y cuales eran bones baking
            en colores that looked right into my ears.

Like Jewels

Lauren Mallett

The trouble is words.

To get away from them
I walk the dunes with my blonde puppy.
In the neighborhood of deer scat and gull feathers
I speed up

to convince Murphy
such surprises are less interesting than
his nose would make him think.
The moss and leaves are parched.

The air is dipping into fall. There is little that’s calm
about carrying on.
Some of the feathers are held together by
                bitefuls of bloodied flesh.

Some days I step over the bits of my life soaked
            through with myself
like jewels I don’t have the clothes for.

I whistle out two or three notes for the company.
Other days I squat into my hips and take them up

from the sand, bead by glorious,

heavy bead.

The Balloon is an Anus

Caren Beilin

I used a balloon in a new way. I used it as the internet.
I put my face all my characteristics and proclivities into
it like air. 

I started to use a balloon as a vibrator. Interesting.

I started to use Donald Barthelme’s “The Balloon” in
all of my writing and it wasn’t that bad.

I used a balloon as a toaster, no good.

I held a mostly deflated one around some wood and
started a rubber fire, blackening la forêt.

I tried using a balloon as a trombone and that got
closer than balloon-as-toaster, much, much closer,
though a balloon doesn’t have a hole at its end by
absolute design and all of my sound went only into the
trombone making it fat not thin.

I used a balloon to break up with a paramour. I didn’t
like him at all anymore.

I’d been partying in Bergen, going to Jenny Hval
concerts in the dark forest drinking all of my alcoholic
milk drinks warm as my cup had been singled out by a
hopping bolt of fuscia lightning.

I called, from the Jenny Hval forest, this old love of
mine, who was worthless to me now, now that I was
in Bergen suspended there by millions of my own
dollars, and all I did was pop a balloon onto the phone
like the interface itself was a bed of pins. I am a bed of
pins, I pretended to confess to the phone.

I used a balloon as a replacement lung. I used a
balloon to practice all my blowjobs on first. I still
do that.

I used a balloon to hold up my head. A balloon was used in my brain transplant.

Find a new way to use a balloon. Because the world
can’t take your “helium” and “string” and even “pop”
gets too much attention.

I would not use one to cross the ocean. I would not
cross an armed balloon. I would not break up with just
anyone. A breakup is a lavishing of special attention. A
breakup is the frenzy of loneliness. The music of Jenny
Hval finds me in the forest. There is snow all over now
like wedding balloons stuck squeaking in the trees.
They don’t squeak for me.


Stella Bonifazi

Jeffrey looks pale, not the kind of pale you are at the end of winter, the kind of pale you get when you’ve climbed to the top of the tree but don’t know how to get down, the kind where your lips go white and your eyes look like a racoon’s, and he’s wearing this real ugly light grey suit with a lime green tie—I don’t know why he has on a green tie, green was his least favorite color, he should be wearing a purple one, purple was always his favorite color, him and his girlfriend had matching purple outfits for prom and his motorbike was a metallic purple that he painted himself with a matching purple helmet after he spent all his saved up birthday money on it—I spent my birthday money that year on a domino set that came in a fancy blue leather case and Jeffrey always played it with me, Mom’s always in the kitchen and I’m not allowed to help her cook since I poured sugar in the spaghetti and Dad’s always too busy in the big brown barn and I’m not allowed in there anymore since I painted a daisy around the goat’s big brown spot on its back, the girls think it’s boring and Albert just sticks the tiles in his mouth, so I could always count on Jeffrey to play with me, even when his girlfriend came over she would play with us, he was wearing a purple t-shirt when we were playing dominoes the other day, he almost always drew elevens or even double sixes first and I hardly ever drew more than a seven or eight, I always thought he cheated cause there’s no way he’s just always that lucky, nobody can just be that good at dominoes, but that day he grabbed his tile from the top of the heap and snorted before turning it over in his hand and showed me the double aces, we played the game real quietly on the shaggy red rug in the den, I set down my seven—a two and five—and Jeffery didn’t have a single tile to play, and the game kept going on like that until I eventually won, I never won and it felt weird like I was the one who cheated, now there’s a bunch of people here I’ve never met before and Mom keeps making me say hello but I just want to rip off my red paisley tie that Dad tied too tight but I have to stay and sit quietly on this hard brown bench with this dirty reddish purple cushion, I can’t do anything but scratch at the stitches on my forehead from where the visor of that purple helmet snapped off on the rock while everyone stares at too-pale-Jeffrey, some man is standing next to him reading off different prayers from his fat book, I say the words I’m supposed to but I don’t know what they mean.

Wraiths of an American Diner

Stella Bonifazi

The diner was packed by seven every morning. I knew the way to my green vinyl booth by the front window, the only empty one in the place, even nearly blind. Down the steps of my faded red porch, left on Aspen, right on Ash, past the post office, the cleaners that used to be the bait shop, and the general store. I could taste the sizzling fats and bubbling baked goods in the air. A cup of hot joe was already waiting for me. The young men at the table across from me were talking about their frog hunting trip from the night before. It reminded me of the only time I went on a frog hunting trip. I caught one frog. He looked up at me with those big shiny black eyes and I decided to keep him. He was my pet for all of three days. I was feeding him bits of bread by the fire when his long tongue grabbed an ember that flew out. Died right on the spot. Didn’t even have him long enough to name him. The couple sitting behind me talked about their upcoming trip to his father’s. They were to take the train into the city. I told them about the time I accidentally interrupted a robbery. Luckily the robber had bad aim, and the local trainspotter had bigger muscles. The little waitress placed my pancakes and bacon on the table with a red lipstick-lined grin. Each morning, I told stories til my plates were clean and off I went, past the general store, the cleaners, the post office, left on Ash, right on Aspen, up my now pink porch to my swing where I would sit for most of the morning, feeling the breeze rustle the thinning hairs on my head.
This morning felt different. I got up, put on my running shoes the girls got me last Christmas, and began to dress for the day. I could see the bureau better, but that wasn’t all that strange. I made my same walk to the diner, left on Aspen, right on Ash, then straight down three buildings,
and sat at my booth by the front window when I got there, coffee waiting for me. I didn’t feel like drinking it, it smelled stale. I waited for that young waitress who always serves me with a smile in her voice, but she just kept passing me. Day after day, I kept up my routine, left on Aspen right on Ash straight down three buildings into my booth by the front window. After the first two mornings, my coffee wasn’t waiting. After another three or four days, there were more empty booths. After a week, the pancakes smelled of rotten eggs and sour milk. I gave it one more day, and as I made my way left on Aspen right on Ash straight down three buildings into my booth, my frog was waiting for me, nearly invisible on the green vinyl.

The Great Landsmen

Joseph Bradshaw

Take seven steps around the fire, unite—
We each have six more lookalikes.
My seven faces, seven seas: great lands-
Men swimming, trying to—who like me can’t.

All you great landsmen: after drowning seven times
Regenerate yourselves. Praise timelines
Refuting suns, ready your accession:
Take seven steps around your six, then spin.

Take seven steps around me, men: your nine
To five, your compass, your mise en abyme.
Take seven steps more, then four, then one,
And then none—sink away, a partition.

Sink into earth, grinded, lull in the crap—
Go, sink denuded, like you’re coming back.

Sour Octave

Joseph Bradshaw

Autocorrect me. My foul bleats, my pongs,
The lies I love: they cannot be revised.
Those haptic covenants are extra told.

The fruit of error spoils in solitude:
Bereft of solace, and harried, no one’s
Remanding voices shout, “You hear me right.”

Autocorrect me, and hear me right: my
Sneers, almost meaningful, atake contrition.
(Sneers, energized once, await reshaping.)

The fruit of anguish (also terror’s whim)
Tastes of distrust. Help me spit it and listen—
And then relisten for you, amity.

Amity, autocorrect me, temper
My octave—don’t lend me unrecovered.


Joseph Bradshaw

Haven’t been cooked, not yet, my innocence.
Yes I’m used wrong, but this isn’t confession,
Harbored refuse—it isn’t your carbon.
I’m neither your nor my discontents.

I am a coward. I can barely shield
Myself from you, as if I’m barely worth
Your affront, barely worth the simper of your breath—
Certainly not the great unveiling before its reveal.

I didn’t flinch, though, when you spoke. I gushed—
Or should I say my fingers softly
Thrummed you (still do) beyond the finale
Of my upstroke, your unobtainable hush.

And words are never the point: to be spent by you
I wake my frolic’s wrath each time anew.