Some Spirits Have Been around Longer Than Other Spirits
by Daniel Handelman on July 14, 2017
The universe is doing well. There are many planets. There are many planets we cannot see. Planets with names like MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb.
In the Milky Way galaxy there are 100 to 400 billion planets. If you want to name a planet you can. Name it anything you want.
A person on Earth looks at a computer screen. The person is Larry Page. Larry Page has named two planets. Larry Page is looking at his computer screen thinking about eternity, non-existence, prostate cancer. Larry Page is going to die. In his next life, he hopes to be a Solitary Eagle, Harpyhaliaetus solitarius. He will live in South America, soar above the Peruvian rain forest.
Elsewhere, a person in a two-bedroom house watches a movie and laughs. Another person hides under a blanket and reads. Between the visible stars are more stars. Between Larry Page and the tree is twenty feet. Between Larry Page’s mind and the world is his skin.
where was i
by CRIME on July 14, 2017
back then u were
pulling webs out of a spider
i digged graves
subsisted on bones
to stain my lips red
SOMETIMES THERE ARE MEN
by Katie Burke on July 9, 2017
I suck my teeth at you
and hear the clinking of keys
a lemon in my mouth
I used to be forgiven
but now I am not
that rounded itself
there are windows everywhere I go
but I hardly ever count them
I have never felt closer to god
than when I smile at a TV show
or maybe a child
the best things
are when it is quiet
and I am alone
I already know what your mouth tastes like:
the forest floor
by Sunday Fall on July 7, 2017
Where lives are controlled thru threats
Drugs and violence. The audience
hold crosses. Its ignorance holds
Down the universe twisting fingers. At night
My arms hold multi colored crystals. My black
Gloves like a symbol of God holds the addicts.
My friend’s think I’m a painter.
My name is Sunday. I survived
Being a movie star. I felt pain too much
To be embarrassed. I’ve been the unemployed
Friend. Quiet dark and wrinkled. On
My stomach to soften my hunger. Good bye
Not the final word. If you believe that.
Breaking into sunrise. I came crying.
I repeated all that happened. I was
In back seat when the car pulled over.
An explosive human stampede
Happening on my ribs and head
Police stripped me out two grams
And dragged along the empty street
My lips wet with blood, I thought,
This my murder.
Dying is an ancient disgrace like painting
Poetry art literature. It’s dumb. When I wake
Up. Tell me you will reach. Tell me you will
Recognize. Tell me you will take
me to bed instead of your husband.
The faint sound of sirens connects me
To this place. It’s a place that reminds us
Of Egypt. The children chew tobacco weed
And marshmallows produce a sap
Used to heal wounds. Everyone watching
by Alan Chazaro on July 5, 2017
I Don’t Know How to Say This in Your Language
The rain is drift-falling and layers
cannot save you from this winter.
On the sidewalk, an African immigrant
leans against concrete, his Air
Jordans leathered and grounded
in a shift of faces. I wonder
if there is an art to dying
young—if Turkish food markets
remind us good times aren’t forever.
Castles have fallen here but some
still watchdog the Spree,
pushing back against snow.
Yesterday we arrived to a
chestpunch of dark and cups of red
wine. We walked
to the farside until we no longer
knew ourselves, until they looked at us
for our tongues.
A Millennial Walks into a Bar and Says:
Let’s start off with a Disney movie because why
shouldn’t we? The one where the boy gets sucked
into the game his father created. Virtual reality.
And let’s consider how there is an invisibility to
everything. The way voices can break airwaves across
oceans slapping against us. And let’s disregard
the tsunami ripples. Who takes responsibility for this, anyways?
It’s an American thing to scream out take no prisoners in public. If not,
it should be. Think of national security threats. Anonymous hackers
who break code. I asked my students what they thought
about this and they told me about plaid shirts, the lag
of internet, Wreckin’ Ralph. I’ve mentioned
another Disney movie I haven’t seen.
But I sometimes worry about oil pipelines in North Dakota.
About congress evil-scheming behind
us. They will plant lemon trees
in our backyards and it’ll be okay. This is approval
by majority so sit back and watch that shit grow. I apologize
if nothing bothers you. I am easily bothered. This brings me
back to lemon trees and oil pipelines. Doesn’t this seem
like Planet of the Apes? What if Charlton Heston was telling us
something when he said “I’m sending my last signal
to Earth before we reach our destination.”
This is a rough paraphrase. What isn’t rough?
When they discovered neon it was accidental.
When they discovered continents it was accidental.
When they discovered race it was accidental.
Maybe not. Maybe I’m saying history
isn’t orchestrated by a perfect God.
We are byproducts of earthquakes. And English
is commonly spoken everywhere. Does anyone
care that it started with rape?
Sometimes I speak in a voice that isn’t mine. Maybe
it’s yours. I apologize. I apologize a lot. I apologize
for apologizing so much. In the 1940s
a group of teenage boys were used
for experiments during the Holocaust. I learned about them
during our tour of a death camp in Oranienburg.
How the Germans kept them around for scientific purposes.
How those boys outlived German lieutenants. Poetic justice
some might say. Meanwhile in the South Bronx teenagers
built cultures from wax, DJed inside broken
down project buildings and spit fluids into crowds
who kept their hands up until the break of dawn. A breaking
dance motion. Contortion of the spirit. Head spins. Nothing
like U.S. military drones missing their targets. Nothing.
But everything like jazz quartets. In New Orleans
there are streets that have retained the noises of ghosts:
Tchoupitoulas; Calliope; St. Claude. Find me
there. I want to remix the wrongs and make a mixtape
of imperfections. Put it in your stereo.
Let your older brother get drunk to it. Let your grandmother
fall asleep to this. Dreams are the origin of an end.
Think about it. Flying cars and robots that act and look
fakingly real. Am I wrong for this? I really can’t say
I’m Mexican just as I really can’t say
I’m American. Someone built this bridge between me. They carved
hyphens from the air for me to cross. Not just the crossings
you might be thinking. But the sort that can birth multiples:
national borders, a puzzle, holy crucifixions, movements
across disparate bodies. I apologize again. I just did that thing
when you use a word in your definition to define another word.
I’m sure language is empired from mistakes so
I’d rather not take this to you. It might stifle what my friend Stan
calls moon-guzzling. Instead, keep jogging until you reach
the edge of yourself. And jump off. And find pleasure between your falling breaths.
The week before Obama’s presidency ended we drove
to Half Moon Bay. There was 80s synthpop and a flood
of trap wave playing. I found a decayed bunker on a cliffside:
aqua graffiti letters spelled INNA TRIBE. Yesterday,
I ate ribs at a mom and pop’s in Hayward. The talk of teaching,
of weddings, the slow goodness of slow-cooked BBQ inside us. Nobody
flinches. Imagine Jeff Chang and Chinaka Hodge hurling poems
at the heads of protestors in our streets while something burns
in the near distance. Orange horizons to remind us of unbroken nights.
Remember to drive slow and pump your brakes. An orchestra of Kanye.
Shakir from West Oakland singing Italian operas—California
house parties. Not like what you see in movies. Or maybe
it is. We were born here and raised up like the Redwoods. Who asked?
Moving on, our neighbors are new and the old ones just moved out.
Not always by choice. How does space change over time? It’s just time
they say. I don’t talk with my mom much because she bounces
around, this time to LA. Video games are her pleasure. In Dragon Age Inquisition
you play as a character who hunts dragons and has sex with others—
she explained this to me. I’ve never owned a PS4 though. In the magazine Wired
you can read about two sisters from Seattle, ages 9 and 11, who built a Do-It-Yourself
spacecraft out of simple materials, used a GoPro to capture its ascent
into the blindness of space. It’s all on YouTube. I wonder
if our imaginations get wrinkled and weary like adults. I wonder
if things are really things. I’d bet that all things eventually change
because someone didn’t want them to. (i.e. Civil Rights). How this
can all pour from my fingers in a matter of minutes. Like newspapers
becoming outdated. We mostly use Facebook as a source of news, anyways.
Entertainment doesn’t hide itself from us very well. At the gym,
why do we look so discomfortable? At bars, why
do we look so discomfortable? This is rude of me to ask on a first date,
I’ve been told. Perhaps the salad would have been a better choice.
Locally foraged, says the 8-pt. font menu. Some of us would rather eat strawberries
at home while watching Trevor Noah. Note to self: do this on a Wednesday night.
Remember, they need this. Remember, you need this. Everyday
is a remembering of too many things. That’s why we keep calendars.
Maybe I’ll cancel our plans and see what tomorrow shapes.