Volume I

Volume I
Nicholas Creger

The Apartment

One of my friends knew the owner of the apartment, I didn’t bother finding out how. The place was fantastic: beautiful plush red carpet, a sleek new television, an electric fish-tank on a counter along the wall, marvelous air-lock cabinets where everything could be found neatly inside. The furniture was sparse, so there was a lot of bare room. There was a single black leather armchair in the living area. There was not a speck of dust or dirt anywhere; the place seemed hardly lived in. And there were no windows. It was a haven, a safe house—an oasis in the middle of civilization. And it was all our own.

We found ourselves there in the middle of the night, and piled in, laughing, gibbering, totally abandoned. I was delighted at the new vista, this den of imagination. We all sat or lay upon the floor, happy and at ease. The refrigerator was well stocked with beer and food, and one of our group, I assume the person that knew the owner, drew a bag of weed from one of the many cabinets. We drank beer and smoked joints, talking through the still and peaceful night.

As the night moved onwards, Annette, a girl with whom I was unacquainted, began to pair herself with me. I was immediately in love with her. We lay on the soft red carpet, side by side, with our bodies touching and feet intertwined, and read together a book we found, one neither of us had ever heard of. We laughed at the same parts, were moved by the same passages. Our minds seemed so alike. Later I lay on my stomach watching television and she sat on my rear, and I thought I should remain like this forever. And she matched me drink for drink, smoke for smoke: if I had another beer, she had another beer, when I rolled a joint, she smoked it with me. I was in a state of bliss all throughout the night, with Annette at my side.

Once it became morning time, she and I left the apartment and walked down the road to have breakfast. Also, she suggested that we rent a motel room. I did not entirely understand this impulse, but I guessed that it was because she wanted us to be by ourselves. It was a quiet, rural road; there was not much around. Outside in the light of day I wondered what a stylish and modern apartment complex was doing in the middle of nowhere.

When we reached the motel, before going into the main office she stopped to get something out of her purse. She pulled out a hand-grenade. I couldn’t believe my eyes. She held the green explosive in her hand like a cocktail.

“What is that?” I asked.

Smiling, she withdrew the pin, and held onto the lever which kept the fuse from igniting.

“What are you doing!”

“Honey, it’s a game. I’ll put it back into my purse, and the handle should stay in place. If not, it was meant to explode.”

“Are you insane! Do you want to die?”

“Honey, it’s only a game.  You won’t die. We won’t die. You like to take things to the next level,right?”

“No, not like this. This is madness… Please, why do you want to hurt yourself?”

I felt a barbed sorrow in my heart. My sweet Annette, what has gotten into you?  What has made you like this?

Her smile changed into an injured look. She thought that I understood her.  She thought that we could be together. I didn’t know what to do.

“Annette…”  I grabbed the explosive from her hand, and ran across the street, to the tree line. I could see nothing but forest ahead. I swung my arm back, and then lobbed the grenade over top of the trees, in the biggest arch I could manage.  It went sailing up and out of sight.  About twenty seconds later I heard a muffled blast. I took out a cigarette and lit it.

Still smoking, I turned back to cross the road. There stood Annette on the motel stoop, sad and alone, with her purse over her shoulder. She seemed so far away.  I began to walk back to her. When I was halfway across the road, Annette disappeared—or, to be more exact, combusted.

As soon as the explosion occurred I fell to the ground, arms covering my head. I felt a light sprinkling on my neck, which turned out to be blood. When I got up, no recognizable portion of Annette remained. There were chunks of skin and bone on the hoods of parked cars; a length of the wall of the motel was smeared with blood and tissue. She must have had five or six of those things hidden in her purse. I wondered if they had been active the whole time, in the apartment, while we had lain and laughed together.

Amazingly, I had not been hit with any shrapnel. I shook my head and headed back towards the apartment, wondering what I would find, if it would be cold and deserted, my friends gone. I remember one thing Annette had said to me that night, when she was alive. She told me that we should give as much money as we can to televangelists, because they were the only ones who were able to save people. She was a strange girl.

Ken Dominic

Untitled in 4 parts

1.

Clever girl practically jokes, crying most crashing

beautiful and sonorously

pulls Irish strings from the throat of a banshee.

Scream at that child under the breakfast table!

until it is now at an umbrella stripe.

South Beach and all the bikinis are striped, too much water sizzles

bring me rum!

and I nap hotly in the hotel room

shades opened

wide and breathing

the telephone is at my bedside

so I can call her.

2.

Some things burn, but not like a field of dead leaves,

but like a garden of glass flowers

at last pulling open to the

glare of neuralgic grey.

3.

Waxing and wormlike does insanity slink raucous Garfunkle the circular quad imbecile that retarded man is insane since never before have I seen unobstructed stereotypes like shone businessmen oblivious kikes crimes disease and culture fastidious vocations and their anonymous horoscope graceland magnanimous welcome please the great fantastic William the bald hero who pleases and will become what Carl won’t be that is to say gastronomical paraplegics horsed convenience foreshadows unparticular rectangle sounds magnificent crepuscular forms which submit the damaged graduate the Sapphic man and the gland of sanguine his name Merguez the tyrant who unleashes cruelty and malice upon the town sending gay lawyers screaming and severance paymen wanting please do constrict the necks of your plaintiffs insatiable and insane furor of women no more tirades upon the children many replete shout out to the mayor and you may find buffalo if not for the snow notwithstanding the greatest torture Merguez unleashed gradually horrifying bombs on the community of plastic stakes and sounds horseshoes brothers can’t you see that horseshoe can cram Horatio into a funnel cake uncanny and several horseshoe ghost crabs clambering into a shorter stack of nonsense such crepuscular Earthlings date the same companion we completely unmuscular ones whack the bad centipede never give a minor to a forgiving hawk never ever stink up a place when you are forgiving a hawk and the greatest poets never lose the scent of greasy Armagnac.

4.

Rip the meniscus of the world, tear all away. And shoot like fire onyx. Return only for air when an ethereal flatness mires all perspicuity.

James Volks

Call and Response

Call

My Peacock!

My golden parakeet!

Look on and see my love for what it was.

Your coevals were mistaken:

they were wrong about me!

I am a princely man, performing

an unfamiliar dance. Nothing more.

I am flying away now, like you will too:

That coquettish grin… You have been a bright

revelation—a smarting moment!

That you are summoning an apology

for nothing, for bygones (your

delusions are your art!) exasperates me.

Be silent, my bird. Dare refuse and I will

lock you up—trap you!

You think I am not desperate?

A butterfly soaked in perfume

with vignettes scribbled all over?

You have been lucky, my rainbow,

while I have been hapless.

I am a cruel man, doing strange movements.

There is a king.

He is right for you.

Response

I am one of vitamin brain, slathering dermatitis blistered heel nail. My stomach in the sea set on a pike. The pike is the spine of a stingray. If I could rip myself apart (to ribbons!), I would.  I would writhe and squeal be glad. My heart is in an oven, and my hands are shaking for it, because I am the culprit. The thing of it is, I cannot stop. Love is a constant lobotomy. Constant lobotomy. Constant. (misheard?) oftenttimesthereisnoscent  ——>

Chuck.            Chuck.               Chuck.
Misdeed spanked smartly on the frenulum that wears a magenta bra and does not shave its tongue.

Jacob Lewis

A Hypothetical Revenge

Sometimes I would give a lot

to be abducted by a terrifying ghost

to feel reasonable fear

to put a ghoulish face to life’s atrocities.

I want more than the human avatar of madness.

I want to meet the bastard spirits themselves

who enter men’s brains and

make them kill each other over nothing.

I want to slap a murderous void in

its inexistent face
and break it apart with my bare hands.

I would.

Even if it dematerialized

I would implement justice

with the utmost severity.

deed

I convinced a Japanese man that

I found a fermented grape.

It was just a nut from a tree.

Kathryn Bohri

Indian Summer

Summer is still here;
I can smell it in the sun-warmed window screens.

Even the languid creek
denies the red trees.

Celia Gaul

Automatic Reprisal

beatrice, dear bea

find and scrawl a reprisal

come tawny

knowing that many worms have

spun silk; wrapped your world

as it fell

into hands cupped

and you again downed

bringing back

to your frame of bone,

and so much water fell through

your fingers

sprawled like antlers

as the apparition

of the smoking hill

caught in flame

Ann Reynolds

Reparations

The bereft mother condemns
the living children in the park,
secretly, from a distance,
avenging her implacable loss.
She leans back against the stone embankment,
and her eyes fall leeward
on the shimmering fall leaves.
All ghosts and problems, it seems to her,
like neverending droplets of water.

Juan Morena

A Meditation from When I was in Cadaques

I stared out at the ocean. I have always loved that. I never knew why. Perhaps that it was always moving, as a living thing, but only huge and monstrous. I knew the ocean was sublime: it could swallow us up; its power no one can really conceive; it would be like trying to understand infinity.

But today, on the beach (the beach I won’t name), my wife and I sat in the volcanic sand and stared out into the expanse and we wondered. The horizon line was curved, the curve of the earth.

My wife has always been afraid of the ocean, but she has always been strangely drawn to it. Myself, I have always needed to be near it, just as I have always needed to dream. When I don’t dream I feel less of a person.

The ocean was monstrous. It was also beautiful. I didn’t know how to explain my attraction to it until it suddenly dawned on me that to behold the ocean instills that eerie loneliness, that same desolation and beauty that dreams instill in me.

I sat for a while, and perhaps my wife was having her own epiphany. We were both silent. I wondered if we, all sentient beings, were really just extensions of a great ocean of consciousness. I wondered if when we dream we weren’t simply dipping into the ocean. I remembered dreams that I shared with others and it seemed supernatural, quite unbelievable, and I thought maybe we were sitting side-by-side dipping our feet into the great ocean of dreams. Perhaps our dreams interact with each other, like fish, and they fill the ocean. Perhaps every dream is stored in the ocean and our dreams combine with the dreams of people long dead.

In half an hour, maybe two hours, I don’t know, but in a short time I had formed a theory on the phenomenon of consciousness, or the so-called mystery of consciousness, which has never been satisfactorily explained, neither by scientist nor philosopher.

According to my theory, consciousness has always been.  Consciousness might be infinite, but let us say that it is the exact size of our universe, assuming the universe is not infinite. Universes have died and new ones have come into being. And consciousness, whenever there is a living being with a mind that can hold it, it flows into that being.

The being becomes conscious. Throughout its life the being keeps the small piece of consciousness it has been allotted. And the consciousness of the being never breaks with the larger oceanic consciousness to which it is attached. The being’s consciousness is ineffably contingent. When the being dreams, it meets again with the primordial wellspring. The wellspring, this ocean, is filled with dreams of the dead and dreams of those currently alive. They mix and the makeup of the great consciousness is ever changing.

And then the being dies and its consciousness is absorbed back into the larger consciousness. While the being is no longer physically present, its thoughts, its emotions, its dreams, these are all forever preserved in the great consciousness that some call God, that others call Atman. However, I belong to no faith, though you could just as easily say that I worship the oceans.

 

Camille La Bant

 

Airborne Language Fragmente: Burned through the Heart with an English Poker (An Anthropological Study of America’s Cretins)

The Times says this-

Burlesque is making a comeback!

All corners of

New York, filled with

rollerskate stripteases-

I breathe a sigh of relief

now feeling

less guilty about

fingering that sticky

de Sade smut

in the back of the book store…

 

 

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