Category Archives: Poetry

“My language is so dead & undead” – Poetry by Kristen Brida

“My Language is So Dead & Undead” is Kristen Brida‘s supremely bizarre poem from our Fall 2017 issue.

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DIRECTORS CALL ME IN
I’m an on-call death
Consultant now
How is death done they ask me
Is it as still as they say it is
Is it unfaithful to throw petals by a corpse
How can I make the body feel
More or less beyond itself

It used to be such a great question
Where I would slide in & out of certainty
Just to see their faces
But now I’m so bored
It gets boring after a few times
The way people crawl around
Their own sense of decay
It’s a movie loop
And I am a sad moviegoer
with Dorito dust spackled across my face

Today I stood over Jeff Goldblum
Covered in fake blood like this dream I had
Where I poured chocolate syrup over his sick ass abs
His body in front of me in tension
with wound & liddedness

I stared at his sick ass abs
and I put my hair in my mouth as I watched
the director said cut
he asked me if Jeff was believable
I should have said fuck
Yes it is now let me lie with him
But I didn’t let them have it

I said shit on him
Throw some glitter in his mouth

And oh did Jeff have so much glitter in his mouth
And was he more exciting than ever
And what a beautiful direction I told them to go in
And still I did not touch him
Even though that would have been the way to go

{ X } Continue reading “My language is so dead & undead” – Poetry by Kristen Brida

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“Ares Inebriated” – Poetry by Bernadette McComish

The God of War – Jules Perahim, 1937

“Ares Inebriated” is one of two marvelously mythical poems by Bernadette McComish in our Fall 2017 issue.

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A LOADED GLOCK
a full shot—
That’s American, he mutters.

No grin or grimace
just down the throat
and another and what

will they sacrifice to him today—
a goat, a village, a teenager?
Would it matter if they knew

he was over it, done with war
or would they keep killing
in his new names, the ones he hates.

At the only bar
in a town with no strangers
he drinks alone and thinks

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

{ X }

Continue reading “Ares Inebriated” – Poetry by Bernadette McComish

“So, the Portal to Another Dimension is Not in the Hudson” – Poetry by Chris Antzoulis

Evening on the Hudson – Leon Dabo, 1909

Behold the shimmering dread & terrible beauty of “So, the Portal to Another Dimension is Not in the Hudson,” one of three terrific poems by Chris Antzoulis in our Fall 2017 issue. (And be sure to check out the recording of Chris reading his poem below~)

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IN TIMES OF DISTRESS
                I look to the water.
Today it’s the Hudson.
I was hoping for fog
and all I got was the sun
                                                rolling diamonds
down river like roulette balls.
And I could see my reflection, a specter
                atop the glitz and shimmer.

He walked
toward me as he started
                                                devouring
his own arm,     took a chunk right out
from behind the elbow—
the part that heats up
                                                when someone asks
                you to hold them tighter.

He kept taking bites
                until his arm was gone.

Now, in front of me
                with his head swiveled in a way
that only a dead thing could

I watched, red-eyed in terrible
                                                beauty,
as he sunk his teeth into his shoulder,
                                wondered if I was supposed
to be watching.

The sun whipped the smell
                                                of breathing
off the gems of the Hudson
                                as I lunged into its riches.

{ X } Continue reading “So, the Portal to Another Dimension is Not in the Hudson” – Poetry by Chris Antzoulis

“No More I Love You’s” – Poetry by Juan Parra

Happy Election Day, America! Let’s celebrate with “No More I Love You’s,” Juan Parra‘s politically surreal poem from our Fall 2017 issue.

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I WAS WEARING MY BLONDE WIG
When Trump pulled me over.

America my love, I thought I knew you.
But you’re living so wild now:
Bowing like Franco. Dancing like Mussolini.
Smiling like Pinochet. Clapping like Stalin.
I thought you loved me.
Once upon a time you would wink at me
And I would whisper: “Becquer and Lorca,” in your ear.

“I’m gonna need you to step out of the car,” Trump said while his upper lip twitched.“No more I love you’s is right,” he said, as he aggressively turned off the stereo.
“I’m gonna need you to balance yourself on your thumbs for the next ten minutes.
That better not be a wig you’re wearing, your tongue better not be having love affairs with
Other dialects.”

Thirty seconds later:

My thumbs cracked under the pressure of my fat limbs,
Forcing me to give up Moliere, hiding under my tongue. To point towards
Tchaikovsky crying of terror in my ear. Conned into admitting my love for
Bashevis and everything Yiddish.
My poor wig prayed and endured under the stomps of an enraged Tyrant.

“You’re not real. From the vomit your tongue stinks of, you probably don’t love my People,” Trump raged, while he hauled me from my ears and crammed me in his policeman’s hat.

Now, straightforwardly, no more swans. Or dances on rose petals. Or sentimental education. No more Poets and love affairs. No more Romance before sunrise; let’s talk of ethnicity Diplomas, of bans & tariffs, of odious men in white robes talking Nazism & looking Ominous on centric Boulevards. America my love you are so wild: There are no I love you’s for Me, In your heart.

{ X }

JUAN  PARRA is a Cuban-American poet. His work has featured in the Indiana Review, Basalt, The Lake, Pear Drop, Driftwood Press, 4ink7, FLAPPERHOUSE, and REAL.

“Phantoms” – Poetry by Ashley Mares

Some Roses and Their Phantoms – Dorothea Tanning, 1952

“Phantoms” is one of two exquisitely haunting poems by Ashley Mares in our Fall 2017 issue.

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“Once or twice I have felt that odd whir of wings in the head, which comes when I am ill so often… I believe these illnesses are in my case-how shall I express it?-partly mystical. Something happens in my mind. It refuses to go on registering impressions. It shuts itself up. It becomes a chrysalis. I lie quite torpid, often with acute physical pain. Then suddenly something springs…ideas rush in me; often though this is before I can control my mind or pen.”

                                                                                -Virginia Woolf

 

I FOUND HER THERE           AMONG THE BROKEN          

              glass and mixed up    bottles.                        The torn

fabric and        bunched up lace.        Have you ever

              known what it was     to be opened   on the

bedroom floor?            It’s the same   every night:

              the voices                    from behind the walls.

The ghosts rising        from the floorboards—this room

              with all its windows.   How much of me

do you have to take    before you give me

              something I can feel?

Everything in me        is a flame:        burning

              softening: cling to me  forever.

Because there’s no such thing                       as space. After

              the flood, the women sprawled out

against the ground,    remembering               what it was

              to feel              dirt between their fingers.

How do I          return home?              Sweet thing,

              cling to me      forever: feel how soft   my skin is.

There is nothing here             that can’t be

              burned,           broken,            opened

by hands         and exposed:   everything in me

              is held,                        tied together    with rope, spun

twine and        broken            wine bottles.

              I am in the mood        to burst

at the seams. The slashed thighs     the blood

              all over the walls         the moaning:

Take me with you—through the         rose-filled arches.

              Tell me—what does it take     for me to give myself

fully to you?    There are worse things:

              like a woman   exposing          her neck—

the flesh pulsing:        perpetually,                 madly.

{ X }

Continue reading “Phantoms” – Poetry by Ashley Mares

Our 2017 Best of the Net Nominees Are…

Casting the Net – Suzanne Valadon, 1914

We have submitted our nominations for the 2017 Best of the Net anthology, which honors literary work that originally appeared on the internet between 7/1/2016 & 6/30/2017, and they are:

“How to Vomit Living Creatures” – short fiction by Deirdre Coyle (from FLAPPERHOUSE #12)

“Mission Concept” – short fiction by Peter H.Z. Hsu (from FLAPPERHOUSE #14)

Congratulations & best of luck to all our nominees, as well as our eternal gratitude for contributing their amazing work to our weird little zine!