Tag Archives: E.H. Brogan

“The Rules of Magic Blankets” – Fiction by E.H. Brogan

illustration by E.H. Brogan

Childlike logic grapples with nighttime terror in “The Rules of Magic Blankets,”  E.H. Brogan‘s playfully spooky flash fiction from our Winter 2019 issue.

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IF i am a child, and IF i am tucked in, and IF i cannot sleep;

IF the leaves and arthritic finger-branches of the deciduous tree outside my window insist on shifting, sometimes furtive, sometimes maniac and distressed;

and IF no matter the size of the moon or its lost face there’s ambient light eternal thrown by streetlamps and adult windows lit up after dusk, so that the second-story shadows cast in my room of the animal-alive old oak can never die or be obliterated, so i can never flee them except into sleep, which my terror keeps me from;

and IF i am sure that in the stammer and slide of thrown-off dark on darker void i’ve seen – i do not know for words but i have seen, and my just-minted eyes are sharp and while i cannot name them that i saw, — cannot explain them, cannot be said in any adult sense to understand them in intellect or language or your grown-up fashion — in flashes: sinister tails on ground snake hidden, the sheen of matted fur, reptile armor formed of scales, light refracted in two condensed red eyes peering out a well, the hint of mushroom breath rotting but with caution in between and around bladed fangs;

IF, THEN it can be said: i know there bide monsters in the murky depths around me, yes, my very bedroom, and somewheres, for once a monster finds a favored haunt it advertises, it leaves a scent to telegraph the sweet spot among all of them. so yes IF there exist monsters in my very room THEN magic must so too.

so IF there’s monsters who drag nails as long-grown as my fingertip to bottom palm along the ground while they stalk, and i trust my eyes and this IF, it’s only IF to speak to you — then i can use magic on my side, too. monsters and magic or nothing.

so IF i can smell their long-past meals of little sleepless girls and boys in fragments ossified under yellow claws and scores of morsels slicked among their greasy beards and wedged between their teeth then i declare my blanket’s unreal too.

it’s already special, woven wide so holes were left through it in the thick-spun cotton weave. i call it my cold blanket because when summer’s hot, the windows open and the cicadas all a hundred degrees or four more in their hum i cannot dream of sleep without some blanket despite sweat so in covering me this one is my solution. this blanket which is here but also halfway not in spaces blooms in its existence out along two planes: this one where my parents see me, kiss my cheek and smooth the linens down as well as that other one where in the closet a shadow grunts between his breaths and the oak tree branches become witch hands which scrape at the windowglass.

so IF there are monsters and magic THEN i cast this spell: my cold blanket cobwebs over me til i become invisible to monsters while they prowl. slithers and ghouls find nothing. so long as any part of me’s slipped under this my beige-spun sentry, unshrinkingly vigilant, i’m like its holes unseen. all i took and made this happen with was my sweat and fear and my belief, unswerving, whipped and cooked from child-sense.

what i see, i see. i cannot root out all the monsters but can manage to keep me safe. so IF there’s magic and there’s monsters i don’t even mind – i turn on my side and sigh and like a jaw snaps shut, another night’s conquested. i sleep with the confidence of death.

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E.H. BROGAN creates in Newark, DE. She writes poetry and prose, sometimes. She sketches, draws, paints, colors, collages, creates artisan paper/paper products, knits, and bookbinds in between John Irving novels (currently; the Irving expedition kicked off in 2018, to continue until completion). She has had art or writing published in places like Flapperhouse, Five2One Magazine and Sideshow, Red Paint Hill, and the Portland Review. Her blog is not updated frequently but a list of all publications with links can be found at emilyhopebrogan.blogspot.com. She also tweets @wheresmsbrogan and IGs her casual art at comics_by_e.h.brogan

Our 2016 Best of the Net Nominees Are…

The Skating Minister - Henry Raeburn, 1784
The Skating Minister – Henry Raeburn, 1784

Our nominations for the 2016 Best of the Net anthology, which honors literary work that originally appeared on the internet between 7/1/2015 & 6/30/2016, are:

“CREATURE  FEATURE : CALIGYNACHTMARE : DREAD  the  BEAUTY” – poetry by Shannon  Moore  Shepherd

“CHAPEL  of  SACRED  MIRRORS” – poetry  by  Joanna  C.  Valente

“The  WITCH  THESE  DAYS” – poetry  by  E. H.  Brogan

“HOW  to  be  a  SMALL  PRESS  SUCCESS” – poetry  by  Catfish  McDaris

“HELPFUL  NOTES  REGARDING  YOUR PURCHASE” – short  fiction  by  Brandon  Barrett

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

“The Witch’s Cat Gets Grounded” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

Black Cat (Kuroki Neko) - Hishida Shunso, 1910
Black Cat (Kuroki Neko) – Hishida Shunso, 1910

“The Witch’s Cat Gets Grounded” is just one of four magically mischievous poems that E.H. Brogan contributed to our Winter 2016 issue. (And to hear a recording of E.H. reading her poem, check out the Soundcloud file embedded below the text.)

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Or at least soon he will be. For now still stuck up
in that tree, actually, and meowing up a storm.
He isn’t happy, and sure would like to know she knows.
She ain’t happy neither, he’s an indoor cat all twenty-four and
seven usual hours but one great date & there’s
the witch already forgetting to grab her pails brim-full with responsibilities,
today she clanked an empty pot down on the stove, gas
cranked, forgot it and walked off. Then the smell of burning.
Trying to bring the house down, witch, were we?
Letting the damn curious cat out and then leaving?
Him outside alone, what was she thinking – was
she thinking? He’s such an oldest child, she thinks when she can
do it through her panic using humor, hope this gets him
enough attention, up two stories in a no-limb cannot-
shimmy-up-it tree and crying to her constantly
while she, below, gets busy doing all the little
things that she can dream to do, none of which are helping.
In order she keeps sitting, smoking, offering up treats, talking
like he kens human. Crying. Calling every possible department.
Writing poems. Then, repeating.

{ X } Continue reading “The Witch’s Cat Gets Grounded” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

“Witch Collections” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

Witch - Theodor Severin Kittelsen, 1892
Witch – Theodor Severin Kittelsen, 1892

“Witch Collections” is one of four wickedly enchanting poems by E.H. Brogan in our Winter 2016 issue. (And to hear a recording of E.H. reading her poem, check out the Soundcloud file embedded below.)

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warpaint over
the years, ancient
bottles of woad and slim
pine needles. Some spells must
be drilled into the muscle of
the heart. Some curses want
a large black dot, it’s
required – some wounds must amass
scar tissue in sleepy hoards if
they ever hope to finish
what they’re healing.

{ X } Continue reading “Witch Collections” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

“Spell for the One Whom You Desire Who Doesn’t Desire You” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

Cocktail Drinker - Max Ernst, 1945
Cocktail Drinker – Max Ernst, 1945

We hope you enjoy “Spell for the One Whom You Desire Who Doesn’t Desire You,” one of four wonderfully witchy poems by E.H. Brogan in our Winter 2016 issue. While we can neither confirm nor deny whether the recipe in this poem makes for an effective love potion, we can attest that it does make for a rather tasty potent potable– and of course, we beseech you to drink responsibly.

(And to hear E.H. read her poem, check out the Soundcloud file embedded below~)

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Not a Negroni, precisely, but how
close to it in form – instead of gin add citrus
vodka. Then a shot of Van Gogh
espresso, you know, caffeine to keep you
way up later than
you wanted. A drop of absinthe to color
dreams, one yellow hair plucked from
a false friend’s scalp.
A teaspoon squeezed
of toads’ warts. Throw a tablespoon
of coarse salt on, what your cat spilled
last Thursday, that afternoon you weren’t
looking. Add all to a shaker, mix
together and pour on ice, this drink
is generous, it will take a pint.
Swallow every drop, and then see
what happens.

{ X } Continue reading “Spell for the One Whom You Desire Who Doesn’t Desire You” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

“The Witch These Days” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

The Witch - Alfred Kubin, 1900
The Witch – Alfred Kubin, 1900

Should you care for one more taste of our supernaturally great Winter 2016 issue before it flies on December 22, here’s “The Witch These Days,” one of four enchanting poems by E.H. Brogan in FLAPPERHOUSE #8. And if you haven’t pre-ordered a digital copy of the issue already, you can click here to have it apparate into your emailbox by the Solstice.

(To hear a recording of E.H. reading the poem, check out the Soundcloud file below the text.)

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MORE AND MORE THE WITCH finds herself just wanting some
alone, no more villagers who pound down her door and pretend
they are friendly so she might do them favors, simple favors,
one single favor or a myriad, sometimes as little as her presence at
a bar she doesn’t want to go out to tonight, the aura of her blessing,
hot factor of her green-edged hair, power implied by her implied power, by
her being there. She could say nothing – but no one lets her, out in public,
ever. All she really wants to get done strangers stomp all over, stand in the way
of scooping litter, block progress on her newest painting, even her shortest,
partial tasks: ordering parchment notes and copying fresh spells down in
attempts at calligraphy, or script, a mark THAT she cares, or that she takes
her time, at least, she tries, within her cracking record Book.
But no one seems to understand her level, how absent
company does not mean company is needed. It sounds awful
boring to all of them, loneliness, those that live in the village.
Without others what could one be doing? Running
from you all, she mutters as she finally picks up
the phone, you know, the landline which for over
twenty minutes now has rung and kept
on ringing. What do you need?

{ X }

image1E.H. BROGAN is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a B.A. in English. You can read her poetry at places like Cider Press Review, Bop Dead City, FLAPPERHOUSE, the Sandy River Review, and Red Paint Hill. Soon, you’ll be able to read her prose in PRIMITIVE magazine. Her house is built of unread books. Tweet @wheresmsbrogan for more. You can listen to any or all of her previously published poems on Soundcloud here

“Exit Interview” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

Dancers – Franz Stuck, 1896

The questions and answers in E.H. Brogan‘s “Exit Interview” are unlike any exit interviews we’ve ever had, but that’s why we love it. It’s one of two very flappy poems E.H. contributed to our Summer 2015 issue, now available via Amazon and Createspace, or at independent brick-and-mortar stores like Bluestockings and St. Mark’s Bookshop. And if you’d like to hear a recording of E.H. reading this poem, click the Soundcloud player below the text!

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A joke, but all it does is cry.
It’s the distant mountains
that you hear, laughing.
Q. What is like a raisin except
too large to enter a mouth?
It is where the letter went,
and not unlike a glove.
Pluck it shriveled from the tree,
sew its long sides up.
Q. If I asked tequila once again
I’d lose it in the waterfall.
This is as it was before. I admit
I bombed the dam.
Last time I swore you not again.
You haven’t tried that pony out,
the chestnut to the race.
Q. Would you dance with me once more?

{ X }

image1E.H. BROGAN is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a B.A. in English. She has poetry in or forthcoming from Star*Line, Cider Press ReviewBop Dead City, and others. She blog-runs and co-curates for Kenning Journal. Her house is built of books. Tweet @wheresmsbrogan for more.

“My Body, So I Know It” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

Cain - Lovis Corinth, 1917
Cain – Lovis Corinth, 1917

Body art gets Biblical in “My Body, So I Know It,” one of two very flappy poems by E.H. Brogan featured in our Summer 2015 issue available here, here, here, or here. And if you’d like to hear a recording of E.H. reading this poem, click the Soundcloud player below the text!

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God marked Cain from Abel to tell
the difference, and he made us, so this
seems not insane. You may even know
how similar we all look, of one image,
god-damned & god-shaped. Who can blame
His confusion? Our world is His warped mirror.

I chose my tools: bars and ink.
God is Light and I used the first
to create holes all over and let
Him in – as He would say, illuminate me.
I used the ink more topically, to color
up what parts of me called for
more decoration, facts of His design:
swirls of fractal math change from lilac
through to teal in patterns, while creatures
He designed march on me like the Ark
in dual tone, black and white: giraffe,
and fish, lizard and lion.

But His best invention is the Word.
I make my skin the page.
I am always writing.

I mark my body so I know it,
can find it easy, in a glance.
No other vessel has marks like
I’ve laid on mine. A thousand cuts
in all directions and each one lets in
another crown of blessed Light.

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image1E.H. BROGAN is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a B.A. in English. She has poetry in or forthcoming from Star*Line, Cider Press ReviewBop Dead City, and others. She blog-runs and co-curates for Kenning Journal. Her house is built of books. Tweet @wheresmsbrogan for more.