Jonathan Aprea


I Think of All You Often

In my room I take my shirt
and place it by the radiator.

There is an important light. I turn it on.
All this time, I think,

I went to you in the water.
You handed me your mask

and I put it on. The pool’s filtration system
disrupted the path of the light

below your ears. I could use this,
I begin to think. Pool

is my favorite color. I go to
find my pen. Nobody ever leaves me

anymore. I unfog their masks.
I write to them for years.

 
 
**
 
 

Infinity Pool

You stand on the asphalt curved entrance of a main road’s
side street before some lawns in different order
and several lots home to just trees. Your goal
is to find the one yard whose bulkhead door gives, whose basement
holds a bucket made of fluted metal
by the home’s stairs, and in whose back woods is a collapsed pool.
The damp earth around the pool’s banded lip
retains the imprint of your sneakers’ worn soles as you walk
and when you have approached on the path’s loam. Its floor
of poured concrete has aged to take the natural tint of clay
and its cracks are filled in with caked dirt and small stones. You access the pool
from the buckled wall at one end stained by rivulets
of water that even now enter the pool
when it rains and drain out. Strike the pail with a found bough
and it echoes, because it is empty
and like all things freest and most out of itself
singing. Its diameter is of the average person,
and if you were under water your eyes would open and break
everything that is obvious and bright
into constituent clouds, and righting the pail it would breathe its air out in one burst
to the water’s surface reassimilating itself. To access
the path back you turn the pail against the pool’s floor
on its mouth and use it as a kind of ladder
to climb out, and the pail stays in the drained pool and will receive rain
never growing full, but in this rain its even face makes faint noise.

 
 
**
 
 

The Shirt of Happiness

Hang it in your living room
to find it when you least need
to put it on and go out.

Do not focus on the urge
to fill what it is made of
with your indecently proportioned

arms. Accept that it is
distinct, that it is inflexibly
put together. Do not eat

for two days. Cover the shirt
in warm water.
Cooling shirt against

your skin. There is nothing
you can do.
It is your favorite one.

 
 
**
 
 

Missing Person

In my room the wall-length window grows dark
and reflective and I sit up
to look through my blue shirt into a tree.
Missing person: I figured out
you still spin inside the dark music box
my chest turns to at night.
You do not grow cold or revolve
affectionately off. My mattress
is the life raft I inflated and carried
miles over freeways from the crash site.
There is a voicemail I imagine,
that has matured and incrementally
been deleted as its tenor slips
to stillness, to never speak.
Something cuts the walls from my apartment
and I skid into the broken
hole of sleep. I right myself and walk across the ice.
Nothing is very different. Blue shirt,
believable skin. I wade into the inevitable water,
and I climb out, and I wade in.

 
 
**
 
 

The Lifeguards

I floated in the water that went above my head
and stared at the lifeguards and branches.
My eyes choked comfortably
on the chemical water. When it rained the lifeguards
went inside their small office and conferred
with each other by themselves and made the children
each go home with their parents and the pool
would not be open again until morning. I stood shirtless
and mad in my cracked driveway latticed
with rough weeds. I climbed onto the small detached garage
as the side streets developed narrow streams and the thunder
got closer. The rain was now coming all at once.
The aggressive noise was seemingly from heaven.
I mistook it for something else but I forget
what I had done. The lifeguards. Their shitty, teenager
faces. I could feel hatred, and I wish that I knew
what it was. I do not belong here. It is for no one.

 
 
**
 


JONATHAN APREA is a writer living in Philadelphia. A chapbook he wrote called Dyson Poems is forthcoming from Monster House Press. You can find him on the web at jonathanaprea.com.

Leena Joshi


**

LEENA JOSHI is a visual artist and writer born to Indian immigrants. Her practice explores the relationship between the changing self and its environment through negotiations of text, moving image, music, performance, and installation, with a focus on feminist, anti-colonial, and immigrant ideation.

Toby Altman

 

**

TOBY ALTMAN is the author of Arcadia, Indiana (Plays Inverse, 2017) and five chapbooks, including recently Security Theater (Present Tense Pamphlets, 2016). His poems can or will be found in Crazyhorse, Jubilat, Lana Turner, and other journals and anthologies.

Cristine Brache

QUEEN FOR A DAY

Queen for a day
#1 pity stories
You win

 
 
**
 
 

WHAT YOU HAVE INSIDE IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO SELL

I want to die in the grave I’ve already dug for myself
Once I’ve completed this beautiful performance
Act I: Beware of Dog, I really enjoy being judged
As seen in Better Hormones & Gardens

I spend twenty-seven years apologizing to men
From the bed of my childhood to the photographs
taken when I first began to cross my fingers
2011 proves it: check out Cristine’s smile

We lay flowers on places where people die
But not where people live not where hearts are broken
Not in the fitting room where the devil first tried my body on
Not on my mother, or sister, or the months of May or June

I’ll show you how I act when no one is around
If you promise to forget me when I’m gone
Big letters were glowing in the back for sure
The only thing missing was feeling

 
 
**
 
 

IN NATURE

in nature
im mature
im nature
n immature

 
 

**

CRISTINE BRACHE is an artist and poet. Recent exhibitions include I love me, I love me not (Fierman, NYC), Golden Eggs (Team, NYC), and In Confidence (As it Stands, LA). Recent publications include Miami 1999 (Paperwork, NYC), Dissect Journal #3 (Melbourne), and How to Sleep Faster #6 (Arcadia Missa, London): cristinebrache.info

Joe Milutis

Gel
(a poem in 33 gifs)

(linked page may require some loading time on slower connections)

**

JOE MILUTIS is a writer, media artist, and Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington-Bothell. His interdisciplinary work includes experimental sound and radio; video works; new media; experimental narrative and poetics; theoretical writings; and various media and literature hybrids. He is the author, most recently, of Failure, A Writer’s Life and Bright Arrogance, a column on experimental translation at Jacket2. His writing has also appeared in Fence, Triple Canopy, Cabinet, Film Comment, Hyperallergic and Ctheory.

Catherine Chen

“With” Anne Carson

In want of madness I sought to replicate something. Something as form, as placeholder for the
thing-in-want-of-madness. I made myself mad with grief, tunneling after your affection under misty
spotlights of juxtaposed night. But that wasn’t all.

I fought with everything. Beauty. Aura. Lamp shades. Consequence. I was so belligerent that I had
no challengers. I felt spited against and my spirit felt degraded and by the time I could sleep
without acting out against the poor sucker who would be my assigned bedmate I was tired. I turned
in every night with the solid understanding that my behavior was futile and my attitude mediocre. I
did not pray but I tried meditation. I ate stale bread full of spiritual conviction. I read many essays
in praise of words and self-annihilation.

My friends, meanwhile, mourned. They formed the second line, they brought works by their
friends to read, they lit a fire. The fire grew and grew. All this I dreamt. At first the fire provided
solace and the second line resented fascist authoritarianism. Then I must have gotten lazy, the
dream became illegible, and the resistance eventually came to resist we who had fed and nursed the
fire from birth.

Who is the mother of fire?

I mean the mother, the ur-mother.

At the awards show, the wraparound dress incurred a minor fashion rebellion, and the woman
who’d designed it was showered with fiery endorsements of love and endless proclamations of the
desire to “wear you.” Nothing less of course.

I wore the shroud nightly, growing weaker, growing madder. To be proven incorrect, I thought, is
to have found full of wanting.



**

From the Edge of Space

My lifelong dream of being bad is a kind of doing. It maps out ways I inhabit but never am.
Feeling is an attachment so you stick around. Still lake water. Still the presence of the dream.

A path that could be: taken.

Forbidden sex, the wish to say yes and no simultaneously.

The selective omen.

Which I reject. I reject the dream. I walk slowly. In a moment of sweat and flushed cheeks. Turn
over. You offer me a koala print sweater on an afternoon when all I want is to dream and resist
critical thought. I only care that my reality of being bad has language, has been found capable of
possessing language.

Or stop. So you stop. I dreamt the scenario I want to stage. I don’t want to possess, I want to
forgive. I want sloppy seconds and strawberry rhubarb pie. I want to sit on the highway overpass. I
haven’t slept in weeks. I roll off the bridge and feel my limbs dissolve.

The question of the body is irrelevant.

Memory caught in reflection is the light in a golden eye.


**

CATHERINE CHEN is a poet and performer living in Cambridge, MA. Her writing has appeared in Nat.Brut, Websafe 2k16, Mask Magazine, among others. She can be found @aluutte.

Justine Lai

[TIMELINE]

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Up for your consideration is this old lot of 14 world war 2 era japanese internment camp hand carved and hand made jewelry brooches and pins,  all authentic and original and were all made in tule lake internment camp in the early 1940s. These pieces are very well made, and you can see the japanese took pride in the work they did. There were quite a few photos and documents in this estate about the internment camp, and we sold most of those last month, but we are still finding more, keep an eye on this site, and you may see some more.

 

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excellent overall serviceexcellent overall serviceexcellent overall serviceexcellent overall serviceexcellent overall serviceexcellent overall serviceexcellent overall service

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**

JUSTINE LAI is an artist based in New York City. She holds degrees from Stanford University and Cranbrook Academy of Art.

The TORF MICROGRANT PRIZE is a semi-frequent microgrant given to an artist or group of artists to complete a special project. Follow us for more information on forthcoming funding opportunities.

Robert Balun


Spaces

there’s weather today
but it’s gotten in static

in the anxious and
suspicious

commute

the predatory

territory

violence of demarcation

I get surprised by
the angles
of the sun

of voiceprint
intensity

of wavelength
as function
and frequency
of time

I woke up

and wanted to

find you and ask

what do you
think of today

or tomorrow

here I am
with
everyone
my teeth
slowly

chipping
away

there is always

someone else
to blame

inside the restless
sleep

I remember talking

but not

a word
of what I

said

I was a part of that
city

but I forget

the way rain
dissolves

neon

passing

beside

the insectine

power

station

past

the newest

news

the point is to erase you

at home

I drink down all my yields

I listen to my neighbor

talk on his phone

looping our
one-sided

forgetting

I reach down

what am I
looking for

on the floor

I’ve got no passwords
I’ve got nothing
to hide

it’s all there

anyway

maybe if I leave
the lights on

the house will flood with bright

and I can collect
my scattering amplitudes

then tomorrow


*


Sodium Lights

does today feel like a day to you

awake but then everything

still some kind of

people talking
then dissolving

people talking

coming through

all loud and static

white noise

burning like lanterns

a name dripping
from a mouth

in deltas

of flawless blood
and jubilee

fantasy of dilated time and access

the sunny void

a few more minutes of here


*


Hello

I always get lost here

I don’t remember exactly

I remember I was there

with time

running like a script

we drank sparklers

called it celebration

looked for glories

what does it take
to feel like that

like new

like always

when I was commanding fleets

when I was steeped in victory

these are secrets

I pay the fare

I am
now
and
then

I carry me again
into the morning


*


Wavelengths

    “insist on your embrace,
    double your fury,
    create a space for damages”

       -Alejandra Pizarnik

what is the weight of a garden

or a city

what is our labor
our architecture

what is the price

who pays

the unit of the day

who could you be
without debt

without context

who will you be next season

inside the pace
inside the disembodied

palace and kingdom

I’d like to carve out an ocean
to remember our cells
once knew jellyfish

I look up from years
and find only minutes

the radio playing crickets

**

ROBERT BALUN is an adjunct at The City College of New York, where he teaches creative writing and composition. His poems have recently appeared in Prelude, Barrow Street, Poor Claudia, Apogee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others.

Kirsten Ihns

you want to be just like you, but

like, who was that trajectory, anyway

it was like finding a text
and around me nature was being
the kind of person who knew the hunt
for the wolf is the hunt for killing it

and the food was utterly nowhere:

he put the newspaper on the sit
in the meantime

it is either running or not running
these are the things we can know of the fridge

we know them while the size of a world grows under the sentence
in the presence of another with no size at all—
i just know how to be
a force and its empress
kicking my slit in the air:

the girls have learned to swing their legs in a way that is synchronous
they teach us this from the earliest age

– -my devices are the prettiest
of the things i betray—
 
*
 
inhabitations

make a copy of the wall
then peel it off
walk out bearing
the room on your shoulders.
i know
if i allow this nail
to grow
it will curl back into my finger
hi there, darling, i’ve come home
to you
fix my constellations from a ladder
arranging the loves and their restrictions

enter each day like
reticulate
area

you will never get free of the people you have
 
*
 
stairmaster

the animal goes up the machine
it goes up
the machine of its step order
like a climax
flag on the dune
is it knowing
how to be good
about the come-down, now

hard thing to know
to be good for
 
*
 
fix that unfolds in time by means of causes//saying the wrong thing at the
same time//saying contagious object//pithy visual idiolect//peculiar to
street signs//still lives//ticker sticker countdown//parade!

protocol machine cherry i drew through my mind like a figure
and savagely it lets me

savage the long stem
rip
its districted tonal forms
green aureole deep cerise taint rouge and melancholy thick luster

all over

what you wanted is an icicle for the take home
and disappears
as i’ve been here waiting in this glade for years

custard venal limber scented like a lemon incense pure but too thick to be pure
what i wanted is what i wanted doesn’t change not much
lux site
overflood
this:
what i would burn up to have:

flush nervous seething something untrue in this mid winter winter ring—
mind fever beater green dream
but the sun asphodel rose blinking its order center talc coda for which i am standing firm on
the hilly reprise trees
and bitter polypore stick mantra, as bitter wires as a tricked winter
mooring

here is the place Necessitates the Visual Pivot

silk project, dirty penumbra subject to the photobox subject videopool so i come

to negotiate the surface settle my flesh on its sharp angles love it
as a sound that appears and calms to something else entirely:

polyplex, edifice
strapped to the machine of the pleasure
levers, white racket of the strayed
body o what
has fossilized in you
what is there given in this place to do

i eschew the past tense
because the past is just a little to my left relaxed

which original aspect do you wish to resume

as an annelid, but i shed my rungs
-progress -compost -one rich soil

object that listens to the world soft-eared resorbing
each sound as a new richness, new form to be
in pharyngeal futures pushed over
indented
just slightly i find

i want the one i was afraid of
to speak to me
in the stride
of a novel permission
what is it that responds to my attentions

the term in its bright love radiant as any enveloping
 
*
 
flot blameless

a room without a heat in it
to people my evening

so i want

to trace the rise of the pvc

so i do, i call you up you let me
watch you in your bath

so fine in the soap, it’s exactly

so you are where the screen is

you are a positive and floating in it

you take the soul out where you can’t seem to carry it

so total in the water

so figure freer than its sense

so strong in this license, i like to do what you want with me

the water is a weak turquoise, but sparkling

it glints a bit where it pools in your ears

as you lean back into you are in the camera oh to be so ready

the only thing it insists on

apple in its early acid

flesh with a wish to dispersion

its very governance

new in its new teeth

blue and the hot kind of vain—

letter to be seen

stamped in it too reflects

the night its sky comes down in chariot, chariot

pitchy green—content to have been carried away
& sweet & utterly rutilated
 
**
 
KIRSTEN IHNS is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and will be a Ph.D. student in English Literature at the University of Chicago in the fall. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bennington Review, Black Warrior Review, The Offing, BOAAT, New Delta Review, POOL, Thin Noon, and elsewhere. She is from Atlanta, Georgia.