JUNE 2015

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Three Hybrid Pieces by Wilna Panagos

Three Hybrid Pieces

by

Wilna Panagos

duck days

a landscape of language. a syllabary. words visiting hot countries, poor tired words loved by the sun, and words like water. remember them. they are a somewhere.

tea as orange as the sky and brighter than water. and sweet, sweet as a confession. This is where we want to walk, say the feet, we want to walk over the sentences in the sand and feel their punctuation, their breves and tildes. gibbous daylight moon traffic calming devices, humps of found objects lying in the mouth like chocolate, murmuring birdsong: blue heron, Diderick cuckoo, promise. No fishing beyond this point. Even in Arcadia, here I am, says death, and and … I want to dance with you, says star god Fu and touches the truth around his neck, it is a wreath, it doesn’t sleep. Benzaiten closes her hands around the knowledge and says: sleeping flowers: Carnet: permit to drive across frontiers or use a camping site, explanation of an ambiguous word. Scot-free: unpunished. Cenotaph: monument to one whose body is elsewhere. leave a light on through the night. the lights between the trees, voyeurs, all of us. You knew me when I was hungry, whispers mr Zimmerman hoarsely, and mr Alighieri says: All the gold that is beneath the moon.

 dog days

You should create a god for yourself out of your seven devils, says Zarathustra, they think a lot about you with their pretty souls. Thus a star is thrown into the void and into the icy breath. Nothing of the sort can be said, says Guildenstern, what in God’s name is the matter with you? Who do you think you are? The Girl with her Hair Cut Short is a comedy by Menander, says the ghost. As it happens. Everyone bets with their lives that either God exists, says Pascal, or not. You have to wager. What will you wager? Morton’s fork! shouts another ghost, a false dilemma, it whispers. Uncertainty is the normal state, says Stoppard, you’re nobody special. So there you are, says Guildenstern. Conversely, a formal fallacy is a pattern of reasoning that is always wrong due to a flaw in the logical structure of the argument, says Zarathustra, ignoring Guildenstern completely. It renders the argument invalid, he says. But there’s always a bit of dialectic to help out, says Carl M, I have naturally expressed my thoughts so that I am also right if the opposite thing happens. All the horses behind the veil of ignorance are the same colour, says the first ghost and falls back into the canvas chair. It puts its arm across its eyes. The sun is so hot and abundant, it thinks. One must not think ill of the paradox, says Søren, it is the passion of thought. The ultimate paradox of thought is to discover something that thought itself cannot think. The Qualanders have very strong feelings of love in them. They are free from time and space, says the second ghost. They are roaming dervishes, it says. The true identity of a city is its absence, says Patrick Keiller, as a city it no longer exists, in this it is truly modern. London was the first metropolis to disappear, he says. Helen Keller erasure poetry, says ghost number two. Raymond Williams snorts and waves his arm at the skyscrapers behind them, the alienated city is a space where people are unable to map themselves, he says with his eyes on the sunburnt savannah. Dada rubber, says the ghost of ghost number two, an apparition on a bicycle. Ren means human-heartedness, says ghost number one. The blond grass around their chairs and around their feet ticks and whirs with insects. Stoppard hasn’t the faintest idea of what these insects could possibly look like. What is the last thing you remember? says Guildenstern, shaking the ice in his empty glass. The hundred schools of thought during spring and autumn, says ghost number three, that is where we should’ve walked away, it says, the Dog Star is rising. When the epoch changes, the ways change, says Han Fei and Walter Benjamin says: Every epoch dreams the one to follow. The seven lucky gods on their faraway ship full of treasure say nothing.

Seven severed heads [De rerum natura #4]

The dogs are running tonight, and the moon is baying. Their nails are scratching stories on the wet streets. The dogs are running and the city is howling, so full of people and light and trees. Lions are lying in its roofs. Lions blinking slowly and thinking of wolfsbane and recklessness, their muzzles red with blood. Lions remembering old dreams of thorn thickets and stalking their own piety. The dogs are running and a forsaken theatre whispers lines from old films to itself. Mould growing on its poor carpeting and broken chairs. Dust and ghost ushers. The dogs are running. What is the half-life of courage? Radioactive manholes clank as people climb down to take a little to get them through the night. The dogs are running and the city is building itself another suburb, reaching with its fingers for the river Lethe. Auribus teneo lupum: holding a wolf by the ears.

There is a room. All the walls are painted red. Warm and glossy with our blood. Words live here. There is nothing else in this room. The words are sleek and wet and impossible.

Eleanor: Tibialoconcupiscent: having a lascivious interest in watching a woman put on stockings. Acushla: term of address or endearment, darling. Cacoethes: a bad habit or insatiable urge. Abatjour: skylight or device to direct light into a room.

Elizabeth: Estrapade: a horse’s attempt to remove its rider. Abatis: rampart of felled trees and branches. Dephlogisticate: to make something fireproof.

Mia: Algerining: prowling around with the intent to commit burglary. Adfenestrate: to enter surreptitiously through a window. Aceldama: field of bloodshed or scene of violence. Abscotchalater: one hiding from the police.

Imogen: Abreuvoir: joint or gap between two stones in masonry. Tarantism: an urge to overcome melancholy by dancing.

Fernanda: Nelipot: someone who walks without shoes. Xerophagy: a diet of bread and water.

Thirty years later the house asks: what are you doing here? The kitchen looks annoyed when you want something to eat and there is crime scene tape across all the furniture. The lawn says: the dog is gone.

Mia: Caveat emptor – beware all you want, it will do you no good.

Fernanda: vestal, consumed, tamarind, libretto, maladroit, mondream.

Eleanor: You have such a bountiful skin.

Imogen: I remember. I want to feast on it.

Ghost no.2:  I wrap them in salt to protect them, so that they cannot leave me. So that I can remember them. I cannot sleep because these memories awake with a small and terrible sound and unwrap themselves in the dark.

Elizabeth: Mannequins never iron their own clothes or mistake social grace for love. Mannequins live in the light without flinching.

Eleanor: On an imperturbable Friday I dreamt that we were going somewhere in a big WWII car. Your hair was short and black and there was a little white dog between us on the backseat. Outside it was nuclear winter brown.

Ghost no.3: I can hear the owls but I cannot see them. Don’t open your eyes. The cars in the street sound like the ocean.

Mia: Hannibal is at the gates.

Imogen: Don’t be scared. Pass the paraffin.

Bio: Wilna Panagos’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in New Contrast Literary Journal, Gone Lawn, Otoliths, Museum Life , Medusa’s Laugh Press, Prick of the Spindle, The Undertow Review, Ditch Poetry, Psychopomp Magazine, Altpoetics, Hobo Camp Review. She wrote and illustrated a few children’s books and is currently writing something which may or may not turn out to be a fragmented postmodern novel. She believes in orange and pigeons, has an imaginary dog and lives in Pretoria, South Africa.

Her Facebook alter ego is here: www.facebook.com/mariahelena.havisham

Two Shorts by Willie Smith

Two Shorts

by

Willie Smith

NO NAME WILL

I stand under the sun in Seahorse Valley. Sweat to remember what I just forgot. Deodorant applied in a pattern reminiscient of the Tarantula inside the Large Magellanic Cloud. Feel it caked on, swamping pit hair like pity a whore.

Hop in the Ford. Shove a Chev aside. Crush a beetle. Step on it.

Hit the highway right through the center of the short of what term did I say my name is? Well… never remember directly. Now I’ve established character, hell – I answer to anything. So we don’t descend any further into this depression.

Swing the glasses onto the Cloud. Gawk at the Tarantula embedded therein. Drag me 180 thou lightyears to the heart of a star factory. Holy Genevieve de Brabant!

Decide to camp for the night in Goose Holler. Scream of a town inhabited by gophers and actual tarantulas fat as the head of God’s cock. You know – the cock that turns God on. Am I sounding cockamamie?

Hm… starts with an M?

The solution to this ice might lie with let go and float on the outer rim of Neptune’s toilet.

Enter the john. Interrogate myself in the damn mirror.

Spot my eyes are closed. That’s a kick – look in a mirror see your eyes shut tight. Don’t try this at home – might mean you are dead. In a story, of course, means you are dreaming. Especially when the lids twitch – see that?

Too bad. Well, I saw both balls twitch. Like mantises kicking out of cocoons. Turn that cock on God never quits! Some claim a black hole occurs when you turn the cock off completely. All the way to the right, or maybe it’s left… can’t seem to put this issue down…

Hey, baby – won’t you put me down. Show me up. Lay me out flat. Pull my plug with your mouth and a mouse click.

Make fun of me. Flip my corpse onto the fire.

Hire two crews. One to giggle, one to shovel. Strew my ashes to the multitude of maggots lying in wait out by the dump.

Rumplestiltskin? Has an M in it…

Wander into the kitchen. Heft a butcher knife. Hey, baby – put me down so I can carve your soul up. To live one must kill. In reality this fantasy won many, but never the last.

Hey, baby – put me down to spin you up, tight as yarn soaked liquor. Spirit our story to the crib. Hey, baby – put up with me, till that frailty when I beg you put me down. But right now, forget the rites: could you just put my name down on this scrap of asswipe?

(Seem to have ambled back into the john… that it, John?)

YES! John Brant! It’s like I goose myself! Here, let me have a gander – that what you put on the asswipe?

No? C’mon – lemme see. Just lemme open my eyes in the mirror let’s say five hundred blinks. What, OK – fifty. OK – five. Five blinks worth.

What did I say my name is? You can just tell me… mouth syllables if THEY might hear. They aren’t even here. It’s just you and, what did you say your name was – mike?

Dick? OK, Deadeye Dick – how the Jesus does a guy find his way out of Seahorse Valley? My wife and I have decided we don’t need to buy here. OK, Mr…. what did you say?

Jest ride one o’ them hippopotamuses square out of the potty? Suppose makes me feel too camp? Could I see a taste of that feel? That another star already – in the pygidium of the Tarantula? Holy Genevieve de Brabant –  spare any sex change?

Poor Gen! Wrongly accused of cheating. Her husband, Eration X, some kind of fairy anyway. I’m a Boomer. That means I fuck everything up enthusiastically.

Exiled in the woods, Gen eats minnow roe, spider spatter, butterfly sperm. She made her bed in a nettle patch, anxious to demonstrate innocence. At length, more time than I have here to hang you by the yarn until enlightened, the false accuser exposes himself.

His Excellency castrates the loser. Tortures pervert into eating his own balls. The prince excels at cruelty. Loves vengeance more than Gen herself. Although he finally does get around to drilling the princess schizophrenic, and maybe that’s why my name really is, glimpse in slot machine flash: Millenial.

No last name. No name will.

APODMENT

I am pod people. I inhabit an apodment. You might think I have a headcold or come from New York, but, no, I actually do inhabit an apodment.

I have on my unit tattooed your name. Once I get you inside the unit, drop trou, unfurl Speedo’s: there it glows: in magenta Braggadocio: Your Name.

Something octopussy about pod. Suckers in the brine some cat heavy into Greek scarfs. Pie, Omega, Delta. Like pie up the delta in Bung County, poppy pods in the jam enough to put to sleep your dog while stuck in traffic. Euthanasia a mere ramp in the mirror off Xanadu.

Did I relate yet about a bout between your hippocampus and my cuttle fish? Knew you wouldn’t remember – didn’t happen ago long enough, too new.

“Screw-belong-arm!” I coo in pidgin. Elbow you out the apodment the second I come.

You got a sister, tell her I got a blister, so hot half-cocked go off clean to the spermbank. Otherwise, a word to the wise: still a few pods unoccupied here in Seahorse Valley.

If you think you remember: Forget it! What happened more anonymous than a virus in the gut of a bug on a rat in the wall of this complex a generation from now, when all the money pulls up stakes. These pods by then one whale of a mistake. Me and the bum squats here then two peas in a pod; only I got the dough, he got the time and you got no sister, ya know, sister?

Now get out before I implode like a twister loaded on every liquor under the moon but time. Time you forget – remember?

I am pod people, see, because I’m the developer. This pod but a pad for my unit to unload.

Why you coming back? Oh, it isn’t, is it, loaded?

Joined by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia

Joined

by

Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia

One  day it will be discovered. What will be found will be up for review. Nothing is gone for good. Nothing good is gone. Nothing gone is good. Good is gone. Gone is good. Good is nothing.  Nothing is good.

It took all of every minute up until now to get here, to get to this. Life’s been spent (waiting). Even when it wasn’t thought of as such.

* * *

Woke up, looked both ways before crossing the street. What could that mean? Don’t say there’s anything which can be called a reason or purpose as such. Jesus Christ. Some people.

* * *

Reality has no walls which can’t be broken. Voices explore places eyes don’t consider. The world we inhabit is a geode. Something hides on the inside. But what nobody knows up until now is that there are many kinds of geodes. Those inwardly bejeweled and those which are secretly rotting behind stone faces.

* * *

There was no place to put trust in you but that’s where it went when all the other hiding spots were already in use. Besides we all need a safe spot we want to rely on. Room has a way of being made when one is willing to take it.

Hearts have space for more chambers. Throats can squeeze in another stanza. Lungs have vacancies. Ribs were built to expand.

But it’s much too much to ask for eyes when they’re already being consumed facing consequences. Yet, for the rest, there’s a whole body formed just for hiding this corpse.

And when you left this was carried away too. In death we are, we were, we will be joined.

Bio: Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia is the author of Robot, This Sentimental Education and Yawning on the Sands. More work by Garcia can be found at kjpgarcia.wordpress.com.

The Traveler by PJ Dorantes

The Traveler

By PJ Dorantes

They never cared about her. Who could blame them? On the outside, she looked like an elderly woman who lost her mind and spent all day babbling about incoherent things, like aliens, UFOs and astral travelers.

Beneath of all that dirt, her wrinkled face still showed a few traces of what it used to be a beautiful lady. But no one was able to see it. They only cared about avoiding her, as if the woman were a rat infected with the plague.

Every day she felt their burning eyes over her, inspecting and talking about every single of her movements. Yet, she never cared about them. Those so called “human beings” could talk trash about her, laugh at her only sight, but they could never steal her true identity. Poor fools! If they only knew the truth behind about that dirty woman façade! Their hunger for plastic beauty left them blind, unable to see the true face of an astral traveler, who wanders the Earth on a mission to change the iron-like hearts of the earthlings.

Bio: PJ Dorantes was born in Mexico City, on November 23rd 1989. Her short stories have been published on anthologies and online magazines of Mexico and Spain.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pjdorantes

Freedom by Hilary Spencer

Freedom 

by

Hilary Spencer

                Lunchtime. The best part of the day. The moment when the cruel hands of the clock line up in a rare harmony, temporarily freeing those who suffer inside the towering office blocks. The sweet air outside had tempted me all day, whispering through the windowscreen, and so I pulled open the office door, the scent of nearby flowers leading me to the city park. Gripping my lunch bag loosely in one hand, I headed for a nearby bench, settling at one end and observing the chipped paint adorned with layers of graffiti. Markings of the goings-on of the local teenagers; who blew, who was here, who loved who. Shrugging, I attended to my sandwich.

                The woman caught my eye as she slowly made her way down my path, and I watched. Her face was old, the last remains of what once must have been great beauty erased by the lines etched deep into her pale skin. Her blue eyes were dull, and I found myself wondering how she could see. A slight coolness on my leg alerted me to the mayonnaise dripping from my sandwich; by the time I wiped it with a napkin and looked back up, she had sat on the other end of the bench. Her head swiveled as she looked around with a sad smile on her face. I could see her shiver in the faint breeze, and wondered why she wasn’t wearing a warmer coat. Her silver hair cascaded down her shoulders, curling at the ends.

 “It’s always so beautiful here,” she said, noticing I was watching her. I blushed, looking back down to my sandwich.

                “I grew up in that house across the street,” she said, pointing to a low-rise apartment building. “Before they tore it down. All my children were born there.” She looked around the park, the same sad smile at the corner of her mouth. “My husband proposed to me right here in this park, fifty years ago,” she said quietly. She pointed to a spot a few feet from where we sat. Squinting, I saw nothing now but some yellow grass and a dead squirrel “That was long before the cancer. The doctors said I have to go to a treatment center in Boston, and I probably won’t come back.” Her hand slid inside the pocket of her light coat and rested there for a moment before emerging. I stood up quickly, recoiling from what I saw in her hand.

                The cold metal gleamed against the papery skin of her hand. There was the faintest clinking noise as the rings on her left hand pressed against the gun.

                 She pointed it, not at me, but at her own face.

                “I spent my entire life in this town,” her voice was still quiet, calm. “I’ll never leave it.” She smiled, glancing once more around at the faded grass. “Freedom,” she sighed. Her finger pressed down, and I screamed.

                The funeral was a week later. I don’t know why I went; call it closure. I met her husband, silenced by his grief. Her children couldn’t understand. It was as everyone was leaving when her oldest daughter beckoned me into the kitchen.

                “Did she say why?” She asked, the silent tears pouring down her face.

                 “She wanted to die in her hometown,” I explained. “She said she had to go to a treatment center in Boston, and the doctor said she wouldn’t come back.”

                The daughter’s breath caught, and her hand flew to her heart. She turned her back to me, searching for something on the spotless counter. Finally she located a plain white envelope, which she handed to me.

                “I insisted she get a second opinion when she got her diagnosis,” she said simply.

                 I opened it, scanning the first line of the paper inside, feeling my heart sink.

                 “Test results,” it said. “Negative.”

Bio: Future cat lady Hilary Spencer lives various parts of Maine. She can be found at http://nerdlylittlesecret.tumblr.com/

: a writer of nil repute by Rebecca Dempsey

: a writer of nil repute

By

 Rebecca Dempsey

This is an overview of the life and works of the writer                 . It was first submitted to, and is believed to have been published in, the first edition of The International Review of Literary Quantum Locking, which sadly is no longer available due to the very nature of its highly contentious subject area.

The works of writer                   are illusive and difficult to comprehend for most close readers; thus, little recognition has been given to              in her own country, Australia. However, certain European post structuralist feminist philosophers in the vein of Cixous and Kristeva have highlighted her achievements of late, while others see something of the school of Jacques Derrida in her works. Given               is a writer whose texts are quantum locked, in that her narratives and poems are only visible when not being read, her work is problematical at best and present especial impenetrabilities for translators. Post modernists agree her vision and creativity to be vast and entirely under-appreciated. Her admirers believe her output phenomenal, particularly considering her tragic personal circumstances as indicated in this account below:

While not considered a commercial success, the many works of                 have found favour with specialist or niche collectors. This, perhaps, is more out of an appreciation of their rarity rather than any literary or other merit. As objects they are difficult to identify and maintain given the inherent physical state but those who have copies have testified to their value.

The value of the works of                have also been measured through their academic worth. Recently, academics of the Kristevan school have chiefly found favour and been inspired by this exchange, below, from her first obscure novel:

For feminists,                     has come to symbolise the silencing of women in culture, and                  continues to be cited in discourses regarding the Freudian use of the term lack.  As a female author                      significance is enshrined by the absence of even her name, and so she comes to represent all female authors who have been silenced. So to             stands for all those historically outside the traditional understanding of the literary cannon and subsequently uncovered by academics such as Dale Spender. Forthcoming research should address                works as post-colonial constructs. Yet                 is also eternally current, as her enforced anonymity can be understood as a comment on the cult of celebrity and a further step beyond the Death of the Author, to the entire Absence of the Author. As, in the slightly more sophisticated later poetry, with this:

And numerous examples abound of                   eloquence in the face of immense odds. Yet the rarefied world of academia is bitterly divided on including her corpus of prose and poetry in the canon. Some have questioned her ability, and in fact have called into question                   very existence, comparing her to the infamous Ern Malley, a fictitious 1940s Melbourne poet created in Australia by poets James McAuley and Harold Stewart, the cause of notoriety for many in the Australian literary community. Some, indeed, have joked she is a Malley descendent. Others, avoiding such issues, focus on the works, and detect the influence of seminal Italian writers and academics Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco, and while it is believed she has offered some comment on her literary influences, in her limited edition collection of essays, entitled                      , this could be considered conjecture. Some followers remain intrigued by                  voice and discuss how her distinctive Australian style is conveyed and how well it is enjoyed or even understood in international circles.

For all her transparency, the author is chiefly concerned with language and ideological and philosophical barriers to communication – how words delimit meaning as much as they convey significance. Some more imaginative readers have compared               her works to that of Pink Floyd, and their construction of The Wall during their famed concert, hinting the very attempt at creation is one that simultaneously invites and alienates the audience. This is a theme that Feminists have also picked up on and it is also a paradox currently under examination by theoretical physicists.

Some post-Symbolists have considered the development of texture in her works, and have written extensively on the evolution from raw and angry ingenuity into something more considered, serious and layered, indicating a maturing in                  . This is hardly surprising, as the influences of her education seem to have been profound. Indeed, she is believed to have completed an Honours Degree in Literature, her thesis exploring the language of modernist poetry, this excerpt, below, seems to be a typical indicator of her later analytic style and of her influences:

has also written extensively on her educational influences, especially the inspiration she found from lecturers               ,                         and                              from                                                 . Her unique gifts seem also to have stemmed from her                    and                 , both accomplished artists in oils and sculpture (mainly wood and clay). Below are examples of their extant works, which, are also similarly affected by quantum locking.

This seemingly familial link between the creative output of the                        has fascinated geneticists, but also equally those interested in the role of environment in shaping lived experience. Others warn of the pathologisation of art and artists and the dangers of medicalising literary or artistic merit and creativity. Furthermore, physicists have expressed interest in conducting experimentation. This is in an effort to better understand quantum locking in addition to investigating some practical applications if it can be harnessed. There could be cause to explore whether her talents would be more usefully employed, in writing legislation, for instance, while others conjecture that she in fact has.

Among the scientific community there are those who maintain this phenomenon can only occur naturally amongst certain individuals involved in creative concerns such as the members of                    family.

Then there are those who are less interested in whether the author is real, than if her works actually exist, however, some recent analysis shows that what is present is more than merely blank space, but a creation devoid of any method of detection. Science is yet to catch up, as it were, to her works. At the same time, debate within theological circles has considered whether her work is a part of a Via Negativa espoused by mystics in various spiritual traditions, and as embodied, (no pun intended), by Meister Eckhart. There is some debate as to whether her influences extend to Eastern spirituality, such as that of Lao Tzu in that the way that can be spoken of is not The Way. In this way, works of       that can be read are not           works.

Another traditionalist group have considered whether she is a follower of Rene Guenon, who argued what is most important is inexpressible, or possibly be aware of his notions of selfhood influenced by Hinduism. Within this school it is contended she is a Nihilist or of the Absurdist School and her texts are a commentary on the futility of High Art and a kind of practical joke where all readers are emperors with no clothes. Many foresee the complex debate between linguists, physicists and mystics regarding her achievements continuing.

As a consequence of                      work, the quantum locked literary movement has garnered sufficient interest to generate multiple theories regarding its place within the broader arts. See the list of texts below, which examine this phenomenon, and which will be examined in depth in further reviews.

There are those, too, who have sought to emulate the texts of                          , maybe seeking the elusive commercial success that               works failed to gain. Few, despite their efforts, have yet succeeded in achieving a comparable evocation of fragility and conflicted eternal temporality that remain the hallmarks of                                     works, if indeed that is their goal. Like so many imitators, they have employed similar devices, or attempted to address the same themes, or modelled their approach to their works in an analogous fashion, yet in this, come to act as only as conduits back to their inspiration,                                          the greatest writer of the early 21st century never to have been read                         .

Bibliography

The following is a commentary by the author: