Yongyu Chen & Jes Smith

The first page of the giant Snow Novel (roast)
(for Roberto Bolaño)

(The shapes of the letters… of your poem. I haven’t read it yet. I just rewrote it. The letters in your handwriting. Your hand shaking and speaking-acting on the world. I just re-wrote it.) Hello, prairies of tiger-grass, hello. The sky-of-your-prairiness is spreading over me, as I bathe. The softly purple light-of-that-sky, is singing me to there, as I bathe. If we disappeared, language would bring us back. Your poems would bring us back, all fuzzy like tiger-ghost-prairies that we don’t know how to spell. It’s ok. Just use the letters that will lose enough light. Just enough. Just enough for us to write the Snow Novel… which I think is reaching towards prayer-as-naming. Whenever you write is time-without-writing, like wings braiding themselves into the bookshelf, the bed, the postcards-stuck-to-the-ceiling, the geometry of the walls, the old blankets from Beijing. Can’t you feel itall calling out to fly? And it does, it flies, it snows, until the postcards flip away your heart. The Snow Novel grows wheels but there’s no door. It drives itself through my bathroom likea ghost in love with bathwater, with being-unforgivably-changed. Remember those shapes? They were letters as well. You could have read it twice. You could have stopped time to look at me, eating the string lights like they’re all absolutely one. Shapes-of-letters, letters, form, the perfect immaterial. The myth ofactuality, riding alongside me through miles of pine trees, laughing as the sun rises right fucking before our eyes…

 
 
**
 
 

Ending, longing, ending again, roasting (roast)
(for O)

Confrontation, at the end. Being saved, at the end.
A wide, open field, mustard green. Us… writing poetry
in it? Us, writing cold water. Writing halos
on our own bodies. It doesn’t have to be us.
If anyone wrote this poem we would fly through
their room. Their tiles, sticky with orange
blossom honey, all poemed up…. Their white
ropes (hold this) tying them to the Soft Materials. Rain,
warm snow, huge (hold this) praying hands. It’s like we
took the life-dreams of all the crooning ducks on that
lake, theory-of-colors-ed them into all these (hold these) life-dream-feathers,
and wore them like crowns. What happened to the
honey? Oh. The bottle fell from my hands so I could
hold the rope, hold the praying hands. Now,
honey is all over my legs, all over the floor. If
I fell asleep who would turn off the lights and then
turn off the dark. There’s honey in every
self-knot on the rope. I didn’t lose
it all. I only lost my gaze-unto-terror of it all. I only
lost my driving-like-the-first-maverick-of-daisies of
it all. I want to reach out, just reach out, into the
light-yellow breath of routine and pull you out of it. Your
wide open arms (like the field), your simultaneity-with-me,
your belly full of images, like a panther. There’s a
way I know I can do it, I just need the spirit of calling-
out to call out. I just need the spirit of flying to fly:
Well, if flying doesn’t change the ground, I will.
Well if spirit doesn’t rearrange the soul, its columns, I will.
“Well, if knowing the future doesn’t change
the past, I’ll just have to forget both.”

 
 
**
 
 

Riding away… roast…

Five shimmering canyons? Now there’s only six.
It feels like the world is growing out of
the world. I really… have never rode away. I’ve been
there. I’ve been there, singing. I’ve been there, reading
your poetry. And then the dream where I forget
how to read, one word at a time. Oh. I’m in
my bedroom & the sheets are gone. The bed is swaying.
It’s like… someone rode through here to leave little
persimmons behind. I’m throwing… you off the
balcony, as we write the third poem. Turns out,
we’ll never have to finish it, but we do. That’s
why I’m throwing you… why you’re flying… why
the poem flies after me to catch you. Who
will pick us up? I’m hiding in the freezer
while you turn into light, into everything you
want except it’s seen from the perspective
of light (& the curtains are white, so white
it’s summer again.)

II.
The bridge… we’re dropping tea leaves off the bridge
and laughing. Why are we here? Like, here here I mean.
It has something to do with the pure
wings of a story, ya know? It would make the
water fold us back into selves we never were, hair
so wet we don’t know which of us is underwater and which
will live forever. Like… really forever, ya know? I hid
everything — the old pears, the mirrors, the sound so
that now you can hear me. You can hear me empty the world for you.

 
 
**
 
 

 


 
 
**
YONGYU CHEN is a PhD student in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard and JES SMITH will be a physics PhD at NYU’s Courant Institute next fall. They met as undergrads at Cornell, which is where they started writing the snow novel. Their collaborative work has also appeared in New Delta Review, Eachother Journal, and Cornell’s Marginalia Review.
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Fox Rinne

PASIPHAË LIVES INSIDE THE MOON FOR TWENTY YEARS

The moon won’t look Ariadne in the eyes. Pasiphaë, meaning wide shining. She tells no one, not even her daughter, she’s immortal. But still the twenty years pass slowly. She watches guilt arrive like an angel to some below, but everyone is good at sending it away. Saying there is only so much we could’ve done. The angel of guilt lives on Crete all its brief life. Sometimes it flies to the moon when the moon is full. And on those nights, Pasiphaë cries well like she’s been waiting to and it feels good, like emptying, but the moon floods with an inch or two of salt water. It does not convince her to return to earth. Twenty years. On the worst nights, she can still feel the god’s spell. Everywhere, like it is her skin, her name. On the worst nights, she thinks there was no spell at all. And she tosses, turns, rolls the light of the moon to a thin silver hair, to nothing. The tide folds back on itself. She watches a man on Earth grow tired of being a father again. She watches a father want solitude more than anything. The angel has its brief stints in the labyrinth, in the palace, like a mirage on the sea bed, but it doesn’t leave Ariadne alone. It is a charm that hangs on her bed frame. It is an inexplicable pain in her legs. It is a kitchen knife in her hands. It is silence below sound, aching. She thinks the labyrinth was built for her, but really, it is a cellar for war debts and dissidents, really, it is an engine. She keeps busy. She doesn’t think about it. She sits at the spinning wheel and makes an escape ladder that never ends. It reaches and reaches. Pasiphaë sleeps with her eyes open, facing away from Earth, curled on her side, knowing her daughter is standing below, staring at her back.

 
 
**
 
 

ARIADNE WEAVES HERSELF A COCOON WITH WHAT IS LEFT

She sews herself a closet, a room only as large as her body, she sews herself a new body. She makes herself into a boy. A beautiful boy, the ideal of boy, a saint, the son of the century, something her mother deserves. She’s an artist, a silkworm, a red wolf spider. She is going to kill her brother. She is going to let her brother be killed. She’s the assassin’s promise, she kisses the angel of guilt and bandages his hands. She sews without stopping to eat. She curls inside the half-cast nest and becomes an arrow in its bed, a den of foxes, a hen who lays no eggs, a calf stillborn inside the womb, rain caught shining on the web. She’s a thousand insect eggs who hatch and eat the whole leaf. A fiancée forced to work the loom until she transforms to a crane on her wedding day and finally flees. An opera singer’s song circling the glass until it cracks. A doe surrounded by its own antlers. A woman sleeping inside the sun. She sews herself into a cave. There are echoes and wind. She is full of hibernation. She imagines herself stepping out of the crystalis just slightly and plenty new. Not a woman, but what a woman is supposed to be. Healed as if there were nothing to heal, holy as if nothing could quite touch the body. Skin thick as Caeneus’. She ties the end of the red string to the rafters in her bedroom and makes the shape of a cocoon. It is only natural the body inverts itself into a refuge. She is looking forward to liquifying. She wonders if she’ll dream and if it’ll be a good dream. She sleeps for three days and three nights. She wakes the same.

 

**
 
FOX RINNE is a poet and prison abolitionist based in New York City. They have facilitated poetry workshops through the Queer Detainee Empowerment Program and the Right-to-Write program at the Westchester County Jail. Their most recent work can be found in Baest, Jacobin, and Silent Auctions.

Brandan Griffin

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

ANIMALS LIVES IN PLANT

 
(it’s unconscious to make telepathy) in me looks at me)

(i’m what telepathic occurences say to each other in their
commons)

 

un
conscious leaves
on green yarn
the
yairn falls and floats up in
telepithy

 

(plant’s called pothos) never flowers) almost never)
propagates from cuttings)

 

plant on table in front of books
blooks on
tlable
in twowo clusters of leaves gathering up

twu upclusters of leefeafing
turn faces
w their yellow streaks to me
next to me, to

winsundowlight

 

(same as what it’s cut from) repeats) clones)

(cloning) yet it grows and different twists and its stems
tangle like nonce) nude shades)

(have to find new word for aware)

(meaning’s in text) aware as animals)

 

breign is
brain
is two squirrels is squarrels
eels
in skull bone

yarn stems
splittitting n strengthingening

plalalant eating scaling noting

 

(text makes clone from me) text has clone in it) me in
water) grows having life)

(any word has to misused if to make point) more’s alive)
life’s not right word) animal) misuse that one)

 

upfromdirt steemms
stems
eels from dirt go up greenly swimming, stilly
stems eels up
slowly

leaves on their necks

head on yarn neck

 

(easy to see my own telepathy) write it down) make
cutting clip stem) ease in water)

(each place that’s a here is telepathy) locality) also living)

(endure is animal) response animal) take) touch)
innerness) is here) here) here)

 

eel swims up out
out of flitter
out of filter feeders
in
their motes
of food like stars in qwtrkghmv

 

(animal’s a bouquet of animals) assembled genetically)
being together) saying i here) wanting to survive)

(looks with field of vision that’s commons) that’s
collection of telepathies)

(am stalks gathering) kneels)

(to lower telepathies towards what i see)

(bunching of here) here) bunching of heres says i)

 

bookspines are white slat forest behind plant
bhooks
in tall verticles facing away
flash spines
spyines on outerside
are faces, straight
barks
are flashed planes

speyeine
faces plant, faces windoawe,
spflashes

 

(animal’s everywhere) now it’s word flapping in each
place) every here) is)

(am full of animals) look to smallest places and that’s
animals seeing) pebbles and soil) packed rooting together)

(animal aware) conscious) plant)

 

plant’s bigger than last looked,

just now loocking

holding plant under
wawter
in syinck
cold fauceting water eel lengthinning
through it
every two weeks

 

(animal replaces word for everything)

(between us)

(stalks under water)

 

plant grows two thckckcknesses of stems
bunchnching
over rim of pot

youplant in stalks,
reread at me brooking yarning forward
tstalking
up severally
talk up and ribs spells a lettrwave

 

(text’s not me) but at edge) it’s me kneeling) with content
but not identical to it) peels through)

(text held under cold water pouring) stream through text)
textopathy)

 

cutting
clipt from main stem roots
into water vase
from phvase in cleer water to soil

plant is animeels crawling
up, over, very
slwolowll

eddies in the space you swim in
meek you
making you heare

 

(does plant read) does plant read text for it to work)
does text have plant in it reading it)

(text) textus) woven tissue of) physical tissue of)
meaning’s tissue of) telepathy’s tissue of)

(has skin) is skin) has skin)

(weaves bark)

 

plant on table
in frontof books scoops up with leaves

scoops the rair the air and an eel
in white wall
eel a long green flag
through books it flags forward in long grayeen

eats
like filter
straining motes in sea sky
in soil
in caption in nutrienst, bemeanth

part of you you
aren’t
hearfeelseenthesizing you as plant

 

(instead of text) a commons) then go past that) tele-
porting)

(a common limb) nerves i don’t live in) but i sense them)
distantly)

(a limb) face) skin)

(a not me)

(an awake on other side)

 

plant clipping
into jar of
water
growwing, spreads out

a cutting, plant reruns through it
becomes twwo

skin comes betweneen

stems that waswere one
now tw, twowo, severall

stem’s now spbinding,
spine

transparent streek on leaf

 

(text wakes animals that grow in me) telepathy because
not me) but i receive them)

(if i write text i give telepathy to myself) but i write it
anyone could have written it) could plant have)

(let’s have plant in here) says plant)

 

saw how this was waeaeaving
over to me
on it
like face of unconscious as typelathy
telepothos

eel swims forward ahs face

flows over to me like sheet front
over me
from wheare it’s at a distance, stays
here

plant’s leaves up on yarn green and floating

 

(let plant in here being still)

(let no more water yet for plant) leaves stay with sun)

(out of soil let plant have stems) open spines like plant’s
leaves) with sun on them)

(in soil)

(under water)

 
 

**


BRANDAN GRIFFIN lives in Queens. His first book IMPASTORAL will be published by Omnidawn in 2022.

Jack Felice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
 

**
JACK FELICE is a graduate of Florida State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and a minor in Art History. He currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida. His artwork has appeared in The Florida Review, 14 Hills, Northridge Review, Five2One, Meridian, and The Weird Show.

Shira Dentz

Subterranean Fires

 
 

When We Carousel to the Rhythm of She-Bang

We muster courage for the good. Resentment gets
the upper lip, corseting flames.

 
 

Does a Cat Have Your Tongue this New Year’s?

A cab revolves like a gumdrop, fancy masks for a
dance of limbs dressed as confetti, what an
explosion.

 
 

Look Back at a Skeleton Torso Frame for Dresses

Eyes on silver strips accentuating the hollowness
lit from within, in imitation of a body in hiding,
cousin to the wig.

 
 


**

SHIRA DENTZ is the author of five books including SISYPHUSINA (PANK, 2020), and two chapbooks. Her writing appears in many venues including Poetry, American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, New American Writing, jubilat, Denver Quarterly, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Series (Poets.org), and NPR. Interviews with her about her writing appear in journals such as Rain Taxi, Ploughshares, and Kenyon Review. She’s a recipient of awards including an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem Award, and Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award. Currently, she is Special Features Editor at Tarpaulin Sky and lives in New York. More about her can be found at www.shiradentz.com

Lucy Zhang


The baby has to wait until after the apocalypse

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**

LUCY ZHANG writes, codes, and watches anime. Her work has appeared in Contrary, Lost Balloon, New Delta Review, Hypertext, EX/POST, Jellyfish Review and elsewhere. She is an editor for Heavy Feather Review and assistant fiction editor for Pithead Chapel. Find her at https://kowaretasekai.wordpress.com/ or on Twitter @Dango_Ramen.

Isabel Boutiette

heaven or hieronymus
 

too many people ride one horse
the organs of the landscape:
acid water and rose quartz
teething towers
strawberries
gems of desire + death
red / blue fruit now red / blue pills
even when it doesn’t look like hell
it is

body wears two cherries

like a crown

a giant duck feeds body

a cranberry

the earth is singing
in the gardens in the mud in pools
reflecting light like pupils do

sinners of the world
hear me
in this frame the world is finally an oyster
our bodies its pearls
free and by default completely insane
I don’t care if we look crazy
I just want to be losing it completely
with my friends
on this festering fault line
the owls surveilling us
through our phone jacks
right next to the heat of our breath
and still unable to compute

our very own chaos triptych
fortune

 
 
**
 
 

SEMI-CONSCIOUS IN KIEV
 

blithing wet
with light
honey
leaving
the wand
the milkmaid
the czar
the tailor
the general
an epoch
spent
picking
sunflower seeds
now my name
glittering
on an official
document
my time
separated
for me
in Ukraine
the churches
have no clocks
only bells
never hands
no tenderness
of touch

 
 
**
 
 

 
 
 
**

ISABEL BOUTIETTE is a poet, artist, curator, editor, and occasional book-maker living in Seattle, WA. She works at Wave Books and is an editor at The Quarterless Review.

Molly Schaeffer


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**

MOLLY SCHAEFFER grew up in New Jersey, and has spent large amounts of time in the Hudson Valley, coastal Massachusetts, and the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in the Poetry Project Newsletter, the anthology Text Means Tissue, and several small press publications. A writer and visual artist, and a recent graduate of the Brown University MFA in poetry, she is a founding editor of the journal Big Big Wednesday. She currently lives in Tacoma, WA.

Marie López

Self-Evident
 

I was reading about a woman’s mental demise when the phone rang.
Smudging halts erosion.

You descend from the stairway,
I remarked, “you are not nude.”

I don’t hear you while your socks are on.
You could be at the last ditch behind the horizon–
You could be next to me.

I cling to the rules of domes,
A plastic sheen enclosing our world.

A straw basket or a cage for small mammals hangs outside the shuttered business.

 
 
 
**
 
 
 

Who gets to have a redemption arc
 

Not even to avenge
Or betrayal of indifference

Intimacy, a silo of smoke
Tunnel, lulls

Try translating
A gun into a color.

Found trinkets, fresh lawns sealed:
Brooklyn in May is the O in June.

Yielding after a jaunt
& the skyline with no guests for the first time.

A dive into wreaths, pollen, twins,
Misguided heat re-enters.

Inscribed or stolen?
I like this better, don’t you?

There’s two options to be had:
Bricks or accountability.

Rocked by a flux of never exhausted thought.
I have no wish–

To a circle of polished headstones.
Almost in reverse.

Is that what a gun looks like?
Against the veneer,

Witness,
So far, it’s the door’s adornment.


 
 
**

MARIE LÓPEZ is finishing her poetry MFA at The New School. She has published work with Bodega Magazine, Newest York Co., Another Gaze Film Journal and Shit Wonder amongst others. She is originally from Miami, Florida and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Liam O’Brien

Rest Lawless
(fragments from The Complete Home, Julia McNair Wright, 1879)

I don’t know about all these wonders. Dozens of cheap
little husbands, their severance from society—if they set about
being companions and friends, making companions

for themselves—in the back of the hall, wonderful
curiosities. With him, a relief. Great pleasure also to satisfy
his growing thoughts. Come in, trust me. Invent and contrive:

what a house it would be. A place for such work: a corner
of the wood. A place curtained off somewhere. No separate
room. A small room, a kitchen; a room with a stove

running through it. A boy like a girl. The boy is yours.
I remember one day: his new high silk. He had taken
the crown. He tried to straighten it: getting ready.

Setting the shoes in rows, observing. Making buttons, mischief.
Believe me, we must never weary. We must build them:
honesty, unselfishness, kindness. Rest lawless, become lawless.
Never grow up into citizens.

 
 
 
**
 
 
 

She Serves Variety
(fragmented from The Complete Home, Julia McNair Wright, 1879)

Not always of one kind: the kind a prelude. Here she serves variety,
nicely cut. The beginning is generally
of bones. A stone, the bones, trimmed closely out of the salt.
A cloth kept very cool. Almost every day, a few bones, and variety.

Clear, the spoonful, the few slices. The remnant shall not be cast out:
all these fragments are to go therein. They do follow, that nothing
be lost
. In one, a cup of milk. A slice, a saucer. Drink it up.
To have, to wash. The cake is given. The cup of milk, with an egg,

thickening. The cake is cut and laid. It goes. The white
of an egg, a little cream, a little wine. We eat it. Delicious! What dainty
people, thrown away, provided for. Not half so wholesome. Refuse
very little. The nourishing and richest lies closest to the skin.

Even a summer can be scraped, the skin pulled off with a knife:
this saves. The knife is sharp, the peel is very thin. The eyes are all.
How long the meat should last: made to reach that requirement.
A very small vessel will hold the waste. It is turned to further use.

Far less than we do, he prefers. The scraps kept for the purpose.
A handful serves, to be repaid. Less cost. Expect what is needed,
and nothing to be wasted. So many people live, made in that way.
I feel heart-sick when I see the mighty trunks and branches

rotting on the ground. The possible ruin, standing cedar. Waiting.
They call this a line. Swamps and barrens, fortune, fuel. Burned over,
in the burning. Every particle that will burn. Cord-wood, small branches,
twigs and slender bundles. A blaze, tied up. The mullen and thistle,

the bramble, carried into the city. The olive trees, the roots of dead
olives and vines, the vine and olive roots are gathered up.
To keep a fire, you wish. Go out: from the pine woods on the hills
are gathered resinous wagon-loads from the dark. Here living,

our waste. Trouble and sorrow bring in these kingdoms, bearing,
renewing themselves. By famines, plagues, by armies shameless,
they have been turned to use. The land cannot endure the drain.
An effort, a thrift and thriving, sacrificing time. In all our lives,

the duty on hand: its proper uses. It takes more time. Many things
kept to be useful. One must save ice. A close cover, every fragment,
scalded and scoured. A growth by seeds, the germs of decay. Like ice,
the bones. Keep that wet. A wet cloth, or a stone. A piece of meat.

All this is very nice to know. Far better, the spring-house. The freer air
and shade, closets and store-rooms. The need of keeping. Some people
will wonder why they taint so fast. Other people do not give
enough air. Too much light. Careful, our lower halves. The boys make

latticed shutters, bowed all day, in these places. Wire covers.
Things in deep basins of cheap red earthenware, carefully tied.
Some people did themselves more damage, and were not careful. Take
a stout cloth before the last end. Set into the ground, to rest.

I think any one is wasted, your hand left to rot, making hard and soft.
Wood ashes, always. Old bones do not lie around. No weeds
overgrow. The earliest are raised here. Saving, escaping, saving,
three times a day. The bridge which carried in little things.

There is a fire, left clinging. Scattering all the scrapings. Your life
is made of trifles. It costs me. The walls, the hard ones, doing
this work. A knife blade, broken, fasten. China, glass, and earthen.
Well enough to come: such things I keep. One must work quickly.

Fit for nothing else. I need it, always keeping muscle besides. Kept
corked, clam or muscle, ten times as good. I don’t send them,
I mend them. I mentioned a city. Nothing is like it. Looking
for black silk, your best, your house-plants. A little ammonia,

glass and silver, weaker for flowers. We clean them stiff. A half-pint
of warm water for our heads. Nicer, in a bath when one is very warm,
engaged in dirty work. Indeed, a hundred times. House-cleaning,
it saves soap, brushes, wood-work, windows. It is a grand thing,

after the dust has settled. It destroys.


 
 
**


LIAM O’BRIEN grew up on a small island. Some of his work can be found in the Denver Quarterly, New Delta Review, Hobart Pulp, and Nightboat Books’ forthcoming We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics. He received his MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and lives in New York.