joined

In a drawer I found a map of the world,
folded into eighths and then once again
and each country bore the wrong name because
the map of the world is an orphanage.

The edges of the earth had a margin
as frayed as the hem of the falling night
and a crease moved down toward the center of
the earth, halving the identical stars.

Every river ran with its thin blue
brother out from the heart of a country:
there cedars twisted toward the southern sky
and reeds plumed eastward like an augur’s pens.

No dates on the wrinkles of that broad face,
no slow grinding of mountains and sand, for –
all at once, like a knife on a whetstone –
the map of the world spoke in snakes and tongues.

The hard-topped roads of the western suburbs
and the distant lights of the capitol
each pull away from the yellowed beaches
and step into the lost sea of daybreak.

The map of the world is a canvas turning
away from the painter’s ink-stained hands
while the pigments cake in their little glass
jars and the brushes grow stiff with forgetting.

There is no model, shy and half-undressed,
no open window and flickering lamp,
yet someone has left this sealed blue letter,
this gypsy’s bandana on the darkening

Table, each corner held down by a conch
shell. What does the body remember at
dusk? That the palms of the hands are a map
of the world, erased and drawn again and

Again, then covered with rivers and earth.

Susan Stewart

social-vat-tim-french

H G Wells was a committed socialist and also a scientist with an active interest in evolution. His literary visions of the future were frequently shaped by both of these concerns. In The Time Machine (1895), Wells’s protagonist travels into the distant future – the year 802,701 – to discover that the human race has evolved into two distinct species, the ‘Eloi’ who live on the surface and the ‘Morlocks’ who live underground. The Time Traveller’s initial observations suggest a utopian society: his first encounter is with the Eloi, who are beautiful but useless, living in plenty and liberated entirely from work. ‘Communism’ is his initial diagnosis, as he observes that the houses and cottages that were familiar features of the Victorian countryside have disappeared to be replaced by ‘palaces’ for communal living.

The pastoral idyll in which the Eloi live resembles in several respects the utopian society depicted by the 19th-century English socialist William Morris in his utopian romance News from Nowhere (1890), where money is abolished, work is pure pleasure, and every member of society lives in plenitude. The palaces also recall the phalanstères proposed by the 19th-century French socialist Charles Fourier: utopian communities of 500-2000 inhabitants would allow for the dissolution of the individual family unit, so that marriage could be abolished and children mutually reared.

However, while at first glance the Eloi seem to inhabit a classless society, when the troglodytic Morlocks come into view – savage brutes who live underground and seem to perform the mindless drudgery necessary to keep society functioning – the Time Traveller awakens to another possibility. Has the social separation between rich and poor become so extreme that the two groups have evolved into separate species?

Class in the time machine
Matthew Taunton

ghost

The supernatural is a key defining element in the Gothic. Whether they invoke the supernatural directly or rely upon the imagination of the reader to provide it, Gothic writers use the supernatural to build suspense, and create special effects for the reader. This is not a Gothic invention; literature has a long history of exploration of the supernatural. Gothic writers need only look back to the examples of Shakespeare’s ghosts, fairies, and sorcerers to see evidence of the supernatural in English literature and lore. Even during the height of their popularity, Gothic writers did not hold a monopoly on the supernatural; it can also be found in Romantic poetry of Samuel Coleridge and Sir Walter Scott.

It is interesting to consider the two different approaches to the supernatural adopted by Gothic writers. On the one hand, some novels rely upon the ‘accepted supernatural,’ in which case the supernatural is simply assumed to be part of reality, and no other explanation is given. One example of this would be the presence of the Bleeding Nun in The Monk. She does not prove to be some servant in a disguise, or a trick of the light or a creaky floorboard. She is as real as anyone else in the novel, and she is a ghost. Her presence is accepted, and never explained using any other type of reasoning. Some Gothic novels, however, use the ‘explained supernatural,’ in which case the scary supernatural effects of the story are later explained and have perfectly scientific and rational causes. Often attributed to the female Gothic, the ‘explained supernatural’ is exemplified in Ann Radcliffe’s Romance in the Forest, in which scary things happen, but when explained, are less horrific than they originally seemed. For example, the heroine Adeline thinks she hears spirits in the night, but it turns out that she has simply been reading the wrong things, and her imagination has caused her to hear ghosts in what were really just the servants’ voices.

Glossary of the Gothic: Supernatural
Wendy Fall

Did This Ever Happen to You

February 26, 2017

vitaly-istomin-spring

A marble-coloured cloud
engulfed the sun and stalled,

a skinny squirrel limped toward me
as I crossed the empty park

and froze, the last
or next to last

fall leaf fell but before it touched
the earth, with shocking clarity

I heard my mother’s voice
pronounce my name. And in an instant I passed

beyond sorrow and terror, and was carried up
into the imageless

bright darkness
I came from

and am. Nobody’s
stronger than forgiveness.

Franz Wright

Guitars and stars

February 26, 2017

nikita-gill-chris-riddle

Self Portrait (Cock)

February 26, 2017

artlover

after Sam Rush

My cock tried to write a poem once too
named it “Self Portrait of Georgia O’Keefe On T or,
The Birds and The Bees But Just Bees and They Are Still Endangered,”
tried to talk about the flowers and only got so far as the bees
and removed the stingers hoping to make a crown of them and be a queen
but it does not work that way,
tried to write about something beautiful and also deadly
and was followed home,
tried to describe the way it wears a dress
and my doctor did not get it.
My cock still doesn’t wear make up to pick up
our hormones, does not know how to paint
anything and have it be Not Surreal.
Someone looked at my cock and saw a door once
hoping to find a boy inside of me but it was locked,
and my cock looked out of the windows of me and
tried to become a closet, a basement, something deep
something inner,
my cock and my belly button don’t talk anymore.
She got jealous that one was an in-ee the whole time
and it was not her, how my cock worries about
sticking out, making a scene, being probable cause.
My cock feels best in your clothes, but knows
that they are still yours?
My cock is a femme but still wears a butch’s clothing
to the dance, got fitted for the dress
and had to buy the suit anyways, god built
my cock a gown and she grabbed the armour
knowing how delicate it is to be a thornless rose.

My cock tried this body on over top of the one
she wanted and said “Yes…this is it. This is how
I get to be born and also be alive.” and god looks at
my cock and sees a scared child playing adult,
trying on her parents clothing hoping to look
the part, all the way down to the burial of emotions
and god says “Honey…I would say the shoe fits but that
is too much body for you to carry, you’re not gonna
fit in anywhere, all that extra space I built for you filled
up with this body…I mean baby, you know
you’re gonna kill yourself if you wear that
out too long…right? You’re gonna make yourself
an island made of magma, a mine collapse to fill
in a cave, a bridge of land that stops the river
from flowing into the sea, a field of flowers buried in ash.”

“I know,” my cock says, “I’m going to be something
so resilient not even the ocean can drown me,
I will stop the red from flowing out of me as if
I don’t have rivers under my skin to soak in, did you know
after the eruption of Mount Saint Helens, I was
the first thing to grow back and I was still a beautiful flower?
The cave of me will still be there when the mines collapse,
when the miners go home or die trying it will still be a mine,
it will still be a place full of beautiful things, what lives
inside of me will still be mine.”

My cock says, she once wrote a poem,
it was titled “Selling tickets to our doctors appointments
OR, 10 things you will find inside this girl body
and still name a boy anyways OR, Entering a cave,
ending in a parade of men carrying diamonds
that they have washed with my blood.”

Says she tried to perform it once,
and how her voice got lost
behind my throat.

Alain Ginsberg

You Came

February 26, 2017

women-smoking

before i knew you, i could have killed you
you, kissing my ex-girlfriend outside of the bar
but i separate my drinking self from myself
as you have come to learn
and i know how many pushups you can do
and how religious your family is
yeah i have a hard time appearing sincere
but sometimes, i’m trying to impress you

Brittany Wallace

How unusual…

February 26, 2017

waffles

rough possession

February 26, 2017

up-it-goes

She didn’t want soft and gentle. She needed his rough possession, claiming her, branding her, taking her in a firestorm of heat and flame that would end the world around them, leaving them nothing but ashes, clean and fierce and forever welded together.

Christine Feehan
Wild Fire

A little bit of kink

February 26, 2017

tied-uptueday9

“Tie me up, please…” Chantal said. They looked above at some vines and roots hanging down from the grassy area above the depression in the canal they were standing in. She was in his hands – he had to comply.

A little bit of kink was one of the most delicious of erotic pleasures. Catholic school girls were often the horniest – Brett could hardly contain his elation.

Jess C. Scott
Catholic School Girls Rule