Daniel Y. Harris /Exergue XII/

Exergue XII

…………Thetica Zorg courts a coiffed synoglyph, cum
argot, first in line at the ingénue boutique for surplus
grammatology. Charmed, for sure, but we’ve met.
Automation by divorcing the exergue from the tryst
is subaltern. We’re focused on a ribbed mouth cavity
…………and take credit for בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם,
וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ. Tune the spar. If (conn->state != SC_CLOSED
&& (fake_time – conn->last_recv) > timeout). Drone
…………warfare aims for rogue monomania. The Imps
choose jellyfish tazers, gelatinous polyp paralyzing
muscular sacks. We are the Old English wē, the Old
High German wir and Sanskrit vayam. Take that brut
…………archi-I, nominative plural with obscene chemical
glands. We demur to our godbot eπi = −1 in spandex
and latex catsuits. Thetica Zorg’s sui generis is a gigolo.
He spurts succub(āre) on pigmy hautboys and yells “free
hell ticks!” Casing explosive and shrapnel on contact.
Please leak the jaw’s hylè. Fuck realität. Can you spare
…………de nugis curialium? Urgency in meltwater.
Opposite conclusions include dissoi logoi, gentility, noise
and l’immaginazione senza fili. Saran dispensers are sold
…………at the kiosk. Quick, call cavaletto supplejacks.
Define cyborganic parasitism. Thetica’s synoglyph
broaches her rat in its calcite shell. As for heaven,
the kingdom is a Corpus Hypercubus. Carbofiliaments
replace fingertips, ready for strangulations.

 


 

—Daniel Y. Harris

“Exergue XII” is from the manuscript, The Tryst of Thetica Zorg

Daniel Y. Harris is the author of 11 collections of poetry and collaborative writing including The Rapture of Eddy Daemon (BlazeVOX, 2016), heshe egregore (with Irene Koronas, Éditions du Cygne, 2016), The Underworld of Lesser Degrees (NYQ Books, 2015), Esophagus Writ (with Rupert M. Loydell, The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2014) and Hyperlinks of Anxiety (Červená Barva Press, 2013) Some of his poetry, experimental writing, art, and essays have been published in BlazeVOX, The Café Irreal, Denver Quarterly, E·ratio, European Judaism, Exquisite Corpse, Kerem, The New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, In Posse Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Poetry Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Stride, Ygdrasil and Zeek. He is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of X-Peri, http://x-peri.blogspot.com/

Monique Byro /when you tell me Your Happiness is more important than mine/

when you tell me Your Happiness is more important than mine

I make grilled cheeses when I’m feeling down, on days like this one.
Two slices of Provolone, extra butter, and maybe some homemade fries too,
if I’m feeling adventurous.
Yeah, self-help is a joke, but this sandwich is life changing.

I put on mismatched socks, one purple, one blue,
and I rip myself out of bed,
to just exist.
I put on a .99 facemask I bought
two months ago at Walmart,
because a facemask is as good a mask as any that I was planning on wearing today.

I try to play “Island in the Sun” on my ukulele,
and cringe at how embarrassing I am.
I wonder if you’re thinking about me.
I remind myself not to care, then put on that sweatshirt you got at the flea market and walk out of my stale and friendly dorm.

I sit on the grass between our buildings, and fail to draw the sky.
But I still smile, because I like the way my socks are brighter than any Prismacolor pencil.

 


 

Monique Byro was born and raised in the too alive city of Miami, and now lives amongst many naturally occurring, all the same color, trees at the University of Florida where she is a full time student. She has been known to keep her poems the same way she keeps her pizzas, to herself.

Ken Cumberlidge /Hollow Did/

Hollow Did

Hollow did as hollow always had and does and will do.
Hollow was as hollow as, nor ever could be not.

With no
beliefs no
memories no
motives of its own,

Hollow
could not sleep, so
every night
dreamt open-eyed

then,

day by daylight
random-planted
in some
brimming stranger’s
mind,

would feed thereat
on mixed emotions
– joys, anxieties, desires,
disappointments,
hoped-for outcomes,
shameful, shallow-buried crimes –

until it had
enough acquired
to fill
the coming night
with dreaming.

Hollow,
being hollow,
had no notion
this was happening:

the only notions
it could have were
those its brain had
parasitic-picked
and,
dreaming,
licked out,
sucked husk-dry
then thrown aside.

Hollow did as hollow always had and does and will do.
Hollow was as hollow as, nor ever could be not.

Afterwards
its hosts would
emerge drained
and not a little lost
for words:

wide asleep, in places
they did
not quite not
quite not quite
recognise,

with no idea
of what they might
have done or said
all day,
but otherwise apparently
unharmed
– vaguely
……sensing
……there had been
……intruders
……in the house,
……but unable to recall
……enough
……to tell if anything of worth was missing.

Hollow,
having dreamed, would
be left sated
and completely lost
for words:

stunned awake, in places
that were
never nearly
not
unrecognised,

with no idea
of what it might
have done or said
all night,
and, contrariwise, transparently
destroyed
– vaguely
……sensing
……there had been
……guests
……staying overnight,
……but unable to recall
……enough
……to tell if anything of them remained.

Hollow did as hollow always had and does and will do.
Hollow was as hollow as, nor ever could be not.

 


Ken Cumberlidge has been writing poetry, prose and song lyrics for 40+ years.  Recent work can be found online at Algebra Of Owls, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Open Mouse and Snakeskin.  Currently he lives in Norwich, UK, where he can be seen muttering and gesticulating in the company of an embarrassed-looking dog.  Don’t worry – the dog’s fine.

Bill Sargeant /time after time/

time after time

the clock-face confounds me
time after time and time again
it grins as it grinds down the years

tick- a life, tock

astounds me with its understanding
screams: time is immortal
only man has to die

tick- a life, tock

and time after time and time again
it reaches out with indefatigable hands
and strangles me

tick- a life, tock

 


My name is Bill Sargeant. I am a 56 year old Londoner now living in North Wales. I was a regular contributor of poems, philosophical essays and short stories, to The Eloquent Atheistbefore its closure. In addition to poetry, I am currently working on a collection of short stories and a second novel.

Paul Vaughan /Norman and the pig/

Norman and the pig

Norman’s riding his pig again.
Cock-sure in his saddle
of pink leather with gold symbols
to ward off the insane, deter the holy.

“Yee-hah!” he screeches,
spit in his beard, the milky way in his eyes,
stars on his shoes and the pyramid of Giza
modelled in loose sheets from the Guardian
perched on his head, soggy in this rain.

Last week he ran over a small child
staring open-mouthed in wonder.

We shouldn’t let our kids out when he’s abroad;
looking for poor saps to lure to his tower
of sooty gargoyles and blood-soaked buttresses.
He snares them, steals their eyeballs
and sucks them like boiled sweets.

 

 

Belinda Rimmer /In Pursuit of the Perfect Jelly/

In Pursuit of the Perfect Jelly

Steam rises in wafts of orangey heaven.
At last, the plop of the racing car jelly
as it leaves its mould.
I see at once its imperfections:
skew-whiff wheels, half a bumper, lopsided roof.
I swill it away in the stainless steel sink.

The radio plays Shirley Bassey.
I take another box from the shelf.

Steam rises in wafts of strawberry heaven.
At last, the plop of the rabbit jelly
as it leaves its mould.
I see at once its imperfections:
dented ears, missing nose, broken bob tail.
I swill it away in the stainless steel sink

I stand at the kitchen worktop, stare at what is before me and wonder when is there the time to get it right. Not just right; perfect, perfectly right. I will start, then start again. What should be over and done with will take half a day, or longer. I wish you knew me when I could do it without all this poring over every detail. If the door bell rings I never answer, not when I’m in the middle of it. A flood could rain down, a fire break out, a hurricane – I won’t be moved. I ask myself: When is there the time to get it right? I simply do not have the time. Yet still I insist. I don’t want to serve stodgy puddings. I want to serve sweet, smooth, shiny, soothing, sleek, silky, serene, hairless, fluid, perfectly proportioned jelly.

 

Rupert Loydell /The Age of Neglect/

THE AGE OF NEGLECT

The night is stained by
a fairyland of lights:
bad vibes and bad TV.

This evening you are in
the most fantastic setting
in the world. Switch off.

Dreaming in sequence
I cross deserts
into nocturnal magic.

The wind splashes
reds and browns
on to the canvas;

you dance in front
of the painting
like a tree falling

to the ground.
Three languages
juxtaposed in stone

but translation is
impossible. We want
to remain hidden.


Rupert Loydell is  Senior Lecturer in the School of Wriitng and Journalism at Falmouth University, a writer, editor and abstract artist. He has many books of poetry in print, including Dear Mary (Shearsman, 2017) and The Return of the Man Who Has Everything (Shearsman 2015); has edited anthologies such as Yesterday’s Music Today (co-edited with Mike Ferguson, Knives Forks and Spoons Press 2014), Smartarse (The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2011) , From Hepworth’s Garden Out (Shearsman, 2010) and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh: manifestos and unmanifestos (Salt, 2010).