JANUARY 16, 2018

Table of Contents for this week's weekly release:

I Once Heard a Story about Neutral Angels by Sameen
Honeymoon by Pedro Bonilla
Dendrochronology/Burling by Olivia P.
  
I Once Heard a Story about Neutral Angels
by Sameen

She considers herself a sort of neutral angel;
crafted at birth with goodness in her heart and yet
always finding herself falling into the same shade of gray.
Her hunger is cavernous and she tears
galaxies into your back and drinks the stars,
trying to find some way to satiate her.
Still empty, though, she moves on,
leaving you an empty shell of the person you once were.
{Check your coat at the door, sir—
you aren’t getting out of here alive
.}

There were once cautionary tales written about her,
but she has long since burned them all.
{The first step to getting away with murder is
hiding all of the evidence and pretending it didn’t happen.
}
You drench yourself in another person’s blood
and tell yourself you did it for her.
But the only person she’ll ever kill for you—
is you.

Sometimes, you catch a glimpse of her smile—
not the one she flashes when she wants something,
but the one that spreads across her face
when she wraps cold hands around a hot cup of coffee,
or when a stray cat brushes up against her leg
and welcomes the hands that have twisted and broken
so many people.

You tell her you heard a story once about neutral angels,
a poem from—Diego? Dante?—
you were never too good with literature.
She reads to you from lines on your back.
{It says here you’re going to fall in love with me, she says;
and you do.}

Three hundred and seventy-two days after you meet,
you are in a bare apartment waiting for furniture to arrive,
and you lay with her on the couch.
She traces her finger on the skin of your back,
and she reads to you.
{It says here you’re going to die today, she says;
and the knife she twists into your ribs has never felt so cold.}

She considers herself a sort of neutral angel;
she would never go so far as to call herself evil,
though she knows that there is no goodness within her.
I’ll take my coffee black, she tells a waitress
three days after you are gone.
Her eyes meet with those of a young man across the room
and it reminds him of the movies—love at first sight,
if you will.
{Check your coat at the door, sir.}
  
Honeymoon
by Pedro Bonilla

  
My tears slide down the gold walls,
Filling the chalice,
Jewels of opal encrusted around the rim,
Polished gold chandeliers light the way to my arms,
But you can’t seem to follow the paths.

Clouds of pink slip in through the vents,
Forcing the toxins up our nostrils,
Inebriating and drowning our brains in love,
Putting rose tinted glasses on,
We sway our hips to the lyre.

Oh my, my, my,
We walk through the halls,
Attached at the hips,
Wine glasses in our hands,
Lust in our eyes,
You look at me and whisper,
Oh my, my, my.

All is good,
What a beautiful pair we make,
The thrusts are reviving,
But all good things must come to an end,
And so must the honeymoon.

The chalice is spilling,
The pink clouds are gagging,
The lyre strings have snapped,
The hips have dislocated,
Wine glasses fall to the floor,
Oh, my, my, my,

What a beautiful pair we made.
  
Dendrochronology/Burling
by Olivia P.


I am the plant sowed in the small pot,

kept in a dark, decorative corner

yet still pruned obsessively,

all the wrong cuts made.

Stillborn and overripe,

yet inkling of pale yellow.

Still standing and stilll green, aphid-eaten and

miraculous.


What if my roots are permanently gnarled
and my insides burled,

and burling still?


Why do I cling to malformed life? For the
promise of sun and new soil?


I feel out there I will implode, explode

in a groping, starlike blur of hysteric
splendor.

Another ring, another ring, I stand sinuous
and delayed

denied.
  

JANUARY 23, 2018

Table of Contents:

Yearnings of Sispyhus by Antonio Cammalleri
Letters to Past Lovers by Angel Turner

 Yearnings of Sisyphus
by Antonio Cammalleri

Oh boulder where art thou?
How I’ve searched and scrambled for days
Amid piles of ashes and typewriter clicks
Amid barren fields and faded photographs
Roll forth, roll forth
God of stone and shadow
In crucifix and suicide
In honesty and misery
Deception and rose
Hearts pierced, hearts deceived.
 
Spirits torn, spirits decayed,
Where is the light?
In your absence sweet poison expires,
In your presence it tumbles down smooth.
For I am not to stand still.
Release the assassins,
Let me climb that peak again.
 
And in the morning
As the clock arm swings at my eye,
Go gently onto my slumbered lids.
Then carry my weary soles
Sweep them, brush them
Back to the base
So they might
In a twilight haze
In intoxicated madness
Carry me back to the precipice.
And then
And only then
Boulder, oh boulder,
Fly down upon me once again.
 
  

Letters to Past Lovers
by Angel Turner

  
Out of every one of you
who broke my heart
there was one where I broke yours
first.
 
There was a time
when I would have spent
my last day
leaving my mark on your unkissed lips
and tracing every line on your hands
with my own.

There was a time
when every moment of every day,
you were on my mind.

I thought I loved you.
I was wrong.

And I know we're young
and prone to puppy love,
and yet it felt so real.
 
For a time,
you were my everything.
I thought you were the
spark in my eyes,
and the power behind my words.

I believed the very stars themselves
would seem dim
in comparison to our light,
and the world would bend
in our linked hands.

And then I changed.

I've never told you
what really happened,
and now I probably never will.

I felt
like my entire purpose in life
was to make other people happy
and I wasn't doing a good job.

This isn't an apology;
I've offered enough of those
and honestly I'm not sorry anymore.

It's more of a lamenting
ballad recalling the time
I thought I loved you.