Encounter with darkness

August 17, 2019

“Who are you?“

“I am Death,” said the creature. “I thought that was obvious.”

“But you’re so small!”

“Only because you are small. You are young and far from your Death, September, so I seem as anything would seem if you saw it from a long way off-very small, very harmless. But I am always closer than I appear. As you grow, I shall grow with you, until at the end, I shall loom huge and dark over your bed, and you will shut your eyes so as not to see me.”

Catherynne M. Valente
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


August 17, 2019

And we all know love is a glass which makes even a monster appear fascinating.

Alberto Moravia
The Woman of Rome

Coins for a Funeral

August 17, 2019

a new zephyr
breathing fire upon lilies until they melt
waxed by a violence for fast paced consideration
falling as pearls back to the seabed
invisible now, as once I was
strewn in savage arms for slaughter
a silver piece in my mouth
hard to bite, sucking on metal
worth less than me, more than life
blooming on the cusp of circular bonfires
lighting the skies with sordid memory
hands pulling me under water
where static weeds grow lithe fingers
entering me in green vision
letting go of the borders and they blurred
like glasses crushed into diamonds
where the moon winks heavily at transgression
and joins the circles compounding begotten earth
do the leaves that unfurl like dancers
know the name of silence’s child as well?
silence that hangs in arabesque
painted stiff and yoked
my dress a bloody reminder
of all things spilt
all things best remedied
beneath this buried attempt.

Candice Daquin

the ceiling flew away

August 17, 2019

The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away –

Incomparably sublime!

The Voice of the Snow

August 17, 2019

Dull black velvet slabs unrolled, the stiff colour of dead crows; a straight razor. Into this dark expanse, I have tried to slice out wings. My design is less wing-like than spiked. My arms will not float into snow angels. I am weighted down and dragged into heavy rhythms. Grim ticks like a grandfather clock pendulum. I hear the snow against glass, ticking the minutes until it strikes.

The voice of the snow is a messy lace-maker. It sews shifts with goopy seams, uneven fretting. Strange stalactites dangle like butchered birds. Songs blurred until a sudden surge of dripping feathers. A dirge of ripping doilies as mutant beaks peck; tear ornate edges to shreds. An irregular flurry of sodden white confetti. A loopy clanging in my head. Then the snow globe residue sinks to the bottom again.

The voice of the snow is a glazed unveiling of rotten limbs. Snowball the shape of a bad apple. White cake gone stale, molding, growing spores. The color at the core of me I’ve begun to abhor as a wormy gray-green like used gauze bandages. Rancid yet repackaged in a waxy wrapper. The gelid mouth bites through white turrets and spangles them with crystalline red. Choke or hypnotize the arrhythmic swaying head of the diamondback dread. Heavy pendulum.

Used gauze wrapped around the bad apple ticking betwixt my lips. The impy kiss; the sudden drifts of chilblained devilkins. Maggots in snow angel positions, hissing gimpy gimpy gimpy. Pimping powdered sugar upon tainted silver trays. Gingerbread babies scuttle away like cockroaches shedding burnt skins. Fruit rinds flinch as they are rimed with hoarfrost trim. I am weighted down and dragged outside. Hog-tied gingerbread bride to a morgue-cold slab.

My eyes will freeze into black currants as I stare out from my gyring dome. My small rondure of scant residue; snow ticking against the glass. Waiting for the enclosure to crack. Waiting for my crow voice to thaw and seep its rusty glissade onto the silver platter of snow angels with blades for wings. Unglaciate this thing. Unfreeze the eyelash lace. Expose the inclement face of this dark expanse.

Juliet Cook

It makes sense to begin on the ceiling. To begin pressed against the limits of the room, whether in solitude, asylum, or restraint, beyond which spread the injunctions of the world. I envision a body shot up to the ceiling suddenly imbued with a split perspective: that of the body on the ceiling and that of the body on the ground. Isn’t there always one left? The perspective of mutual confrontation, each body bound to the tension between, the distance, a cube, like a fractured embrace — though maybe the room itself is an invention, walls crumbled, out of bounds. That is where Yanara Friedland begins. She walked, for example — among other borders, traces and ruins, natural and artificially enforced — the former East-West division through Germany. It was summer. The exigencies of life, of survival, and the forces that hang them in the shadows of violence, have inflected the gravity of so many bodies that maybe gravity has reversed, and that people who have been pushed beyond their extent, are the ennoblements of the living, looking back. To look (back) at one’s body from a limit, a place of exile; to attempt to re-member oneself with an imagination forged, by necessity, out of that distance; to look at one’s bodies, held in a fractured embrace, despite, or because of, the collapse of the world. The space between may be the price of existence.

Brandon Shimoda


August 17, 2019

Drunk on your kisses that taste like August soaked in absinthe…

As in the tales of Grimm and Perrault [Tsvetaeva] suggests that it is the fear, the delight in our fear, we enjoy, a delight we cannot enjoy in reality since we fear for our skin. Conversely, Tsvetaeva tells us, a fairy tale that doesn’t frighten is not a fairy tale. It is terror that transports us to the place where Dostoyevsky was transported when he was condemned to death, this most precious place, the most alive, where you tell yourself you are going to receive the axe’s blow, and where you discover, by the axe’s light, what Kafka made Moses say: How beautiful the world is even in its ugliness. It’s at this moment, as Blanchot would say, that “we see the light.” It’s at this moment, in extremis, that we are born and enjoy the strange things that can happen during such a dangerous, magnificent, and cruel experience as losing a relative while still in the freshness of childhood or youth. We feel, to our unspeakable horror, something that is incredibly odd: on the one hand an infinitely greater loss than the one we feel when we are of a mature age, and on the other, an unavowable joy – difficult to perceive – that is simply the joy of being alive. The pure joy of feeling that I am not the one who is dying.”

Hélène Cixous
The School of Dreams
Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing