Mitochondrial Eve

July 21, 2019

Estimated to have lived approximately 100,000-200,000 years ago,
Mitochondrial Eve is the matrilineal most recent common ancestor of all humans alive today.

Please go down and thank her
under the arched branches
where she sits on her heels

arranging a circle of leaves
for a good bed. And on the inside
of her skin thank the mosaic.

Take what little she has and
give it back – one piece
and another, marked with plastic

tags. How high can she count
from your sieves submerged
in water sorting her shards

that lay a mosaic over the earth?
You know the entry when
you see it, in fact

you’d recognize her anywhere –
Reclining in pain on her bed
under a mile of boulders

always with the door open.

Sarah Rose Nordgren

Light and Clay

July 21, 2019

“Will the dust praise thee?”—Psalm 30:9

The page was a place
before morality
before Gilgamesh
before the second prophet
of revealed law

The page was a hybrid
of value and valuelessness
a hybrid of community
and selfishness
a foster child of devotion

The page was experience
in semantic terms
a folie a deux
a terminal location

Cowboys and princes
offered their lives
the cult of the dead
worshipped there too
lacking in value
it saw only faces

The page was a room,
a picnic, a heaven
the utopia of words
in a region of want

The page was a bride groom,
a bride and a lover,
the child of the union
of religion and anarchy

“I will reflect it,” the page
said on Sunday
“I will absorb it,”
the page meant to add

Between death and rebirth
the page stood waiting
words came to call
speechless at best

Maxine Chernoff

nasty sense of humour

July 21, 2019

Of course, I must say that I don’t think America is God’s gift to anybody – if it is, God’s days have got to be numbered. That God these people say they serve – and do serve, in ways that they don’t know – has got a very nasty sense of humour. Like you’d beat the shit out of Him, if He was a man. Or: if you were.

James Baldwin
If Beale Street Could Talk

transformation

July 21, 2019

He became she that day, his wife’s thirtieth birthday: it had been an ongoing fantasy of hers, and he’d finally, reluctantly acquiesced. His transformation took four or five hours, including depilation of body hair, make-up, fitting a blonde wig – but it was worth it: he looked very feminine, indeed, most convincing.

They were in a groundfloor apartment at Grenoble, France on holiday.

His wife named him Margot after the doll she’d had as a child. She provided the breast-forms to fit in his bra, and the rest of his female attire, dresses, pantyhose, panties. She taught him to walk on high heels like a woman. And tied a chic, silken scarf round his neck to hide his Adam’s apple. She also provided the press-on manicure gel nails for his fingers and toes.

‘You really are beautiful,’ she told him.

And he was.

They went out to a local restaurant for dinner. Male heads turned as Margot walked by.

‘They all want you,’ his wife said.

They ordered risotto and champagne and Margot flirted with the waiter.

‘You need a boyfriend,’ his wife said. ‘I can arrange it. It’d be so hot to watch you getting laid.’

‘That’s not on,’ Margot replied in a hissed whisper. ‘Not part of the arrangement. I’ll be Margot for the week but sex with a man is out.’

‘Oh, not one man, darling – many men.’ Before he could respond her hand had become busy up his skirt under the table. Her fingers were expert. She concentrated on the end of his penis which now jutted from his panties. ‘You will do it, won’t you darling? Just for me? For our love?’

‘Just the one time, yeah. A one off.’ And then he groaned as the sperm was teased out of him by her pinching fingertips.

Three days later as Margot, he entered the sitting room of their apartment to be confronted by four athletic-looking young man in bathing costumes. All four had obvious hard-ons.

His wife at his side urged him to get on with it.

Outside, beyond the wet patio, it had stopped raining, but he could see that drops of rain clung to the petals of the rose bushes. But by then the four young men were pulling him down to the mosaic floor. And it really didn’t matter anymore.

Goodbye To Tolerance

July 20, 2019

Genial poets, pink-faced
earnest wits —
you have given the world
some choice morsels,
gobbets of language presented
as one presents T-bone steak
and Cherries Jubilee.
Goodbye, goodbye,
I don’t care
if I never taste your fine food again,
neutral fellows, seers of every side.
Tolerance, what crimes
are committed in your name.

And you, good women, bakers of nicest bread,
blood donors. Your crumbs
choke me, I would not want
a drop of your blood in me, it is pumped
by weak hearts, perfect pulses that never
falter: irresponsive
to nightmare reality.

It is my brothers, my sisters,
whose blood spurts out and stops
forever
because you choose to believe it is not your business.

Goodbye, goodbye,
your poems
shut their little mouths,
your loaves grow mouldy,
a gulf has split
the ground between us,
and you won’t wave, you’re looking
another way.
We shan’t meet again —
unless you leap it, leaving
behind you the cherished
worms of your dispassion,
your pallid ironies,
your jovial, murderous,
wry-humoured balanced judgment,
leap over, un-
balanced? … then
how our fanatic tears
would flow and mingle
for joy …

Denise Levertov

I read about this woman in Greece who filled her vagina with various poisons: her aim was to kill her husband when he next went down on her – hubby being a total cunnilingus addict, he loved to suck her pussy nightly.

As an attempt at murder it was a complete failure.

The following night she took a loaded revolver to bed with her. This proved to be more efficacious when, as hubby came up for air, she blew his left ear off.

The woman was arrested, of course, and charged with attempted murder.

Strangely, it appears that the husband has now moved in with the woman’s widowed sister. Let’s hope, for his sake, she’s into regularly having her pussy licked – ?

MAGIC

July 20, 2019

Magic is just a word for what’s left to the powerless once everyone else has eaten their fill.

Catherynne M. Valente
Six-Gun Snow White

 

Writers like to play around with the concept of evil. Think of some of the great antagonists: Sauron and Voldermort in their quests for total power and dominance; the criminal mastermind of Professor Moriarty; even the endless hunger and carnage of Benchley’s Jaws. Most definitions of the word evil state immorality and wickedness as the main concepts. But is it for the writer to deem if a character is wicked…or the reader?

After a few of my writer friends had a mini tirade regarding the shallowness of the Friday the 13th franchise, I set out to write a short story that played with the concept. A masked psychopath hacking apart teenagers at a campsite…clearly an evil character, right? By the end of the story, I wanted the reader to question to their original position on the motivations and morals of the killer, and through this, I saw the concept of evil becoming more flexible, like a lump of clay forming various shapes. Take something one considers evil, alter the perception just a little, and you have the possibility to create something entirely new, perhaps something good and noble.

Or not.

Daniel I. Russell
Entities of Modern Evil

All things are aggregations of atoms that dance & by their movement produce sound. When the rhythm of the dance changes, the sound it produces also changes… Each atom perpetually sings its song, and the sound at every moment creates dense subtle forms.

Alexandra David-Neel
Magic and Mystery in Tibet

I had to write

July 19, 2019

I spend a year researching my books before I start them, and they slowly take shape over the course of the year. With Monsters (The Monsters of Templeton) I had to write four completely different drafts — with different techniques, different modes of storytelling — before jettisoning the drafts and starting anew. But with Arcadia, I knew, pretty much from the beginning, what the overall arc of the story was going to be (paradise lost, semi-regained), and so I had the architecture of the book in my head before I began. The trouble was balancing everything in storytelling, which was breathtakingly difficult in that book.

Lauren Groff
Interview in Superstition issue 11