Tag Archives: FLAPPERHOUSE #16

“Facebook – 8/21/17” – Poetry by William Lessard

Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War – Salvador Dali, 1936

“Facebook – 8/21/17” is one of five fabulously dada-esque poems by William Lessard from our Winter 2018 issue.

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AMERICA’S LONGEST-RUNNING WAR? /the Civil War, my lovelies

                        anyone who thinks otherwise is misinformed by #fact

*overheard at DUNKIN’ DONUTS this morning*       i hate when people do things, and they work out                                                                                         it makes me feel like i should do things

                        someday the robots will do the Civil Warring for us             until then, history falls down the stairs carrying a tray of shoes for lunch

=========>the Civil War franchise, mansplained as your dad eating Pepperoni Combos—

  1. in the original movie the Confederacy lost then put up bronze participation trophies in all the parks
              B. like Star Wars, all the sequels are the exact same movie, just played in reverse

                    i like my Civil War with cheese                      you prefer yours on a Kaiser bun

America is loath to let a profitable franchise go, but sometimes not-dumpster-fire life events
                    do happen:
                              your dog barks into an Amazon dot™, buys you a Prius
—or, on an evening when you see ghosts turning in the snow outside your window,
                                        a wife/husband/lover/stranger
                                                                                                        turns
                                                                                a key
                                                  /key that only they can see

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Continue reading “Facebook – 8/21/17” – Poetry by William Lessard

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“Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” – Poetry by E.B. Schnepp

Apollo 10 Earthrise – NASA, 1969

“Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” is one of three cosmically creepy poems by E.B. Schnepp in our Winter 2018 issue.

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THIS ISN’T A SONG THAT LEAVES YOU, it’s a virus
entering ears only to settle in your bones, Houston,

it rings there, this black hole cry—we’ll hear it
long after we’re planted back on earth. Houston,

at night it will leave you pacing dark halls waiting
for whatever is calling to find you. Houston,

the captain said it was a song, slow pitched rock-n-roll,
but we both know it was a scream. Houston,

it’s unlike anything heard before—but
we can’t tell you this, you can’t hear us, Houston

we’re orbiting other-sides of space, we’re unsure
we’ll ever hear something human again. Houston,

we’re crying for you, deliver us
from this dark, deliver us, Houston

from this radio silence, its static
pop and wheeze. Houston—

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Continue reading “Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” – Poetry by E.B. Schnepp

“moon-cleansed” – Poetry by Monica Lewis

The Truth About Comets – Dorothea Tanning, 1945

“moon-cleansed” is one of three cosmically beautiful & gut-punchingly powerful poems by Monica Lewis from our Winter 2018 issue.

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I TRY TO TELL MY BRAIN, you are an organ, luminous in your undulating layers, and like a comet, you are not a dirty snowball of space, you are made of dust (my trauma, my moments of star bones, love that combusted my life, on repeat, a recurring dream i continue to pirouette through), and dust, dirt can glitter if the light of the night hits it just right. like a comet, you have brought water to my most deserted, desiccated parts. i try to tell my brain, you are a little girl in her first chiffon, and when you spin, you set the earth aswirl in possibility: the softest wisconsin green grass of a dream, a field of lavender, spreading, and the blood-jet of sylvia or every poetess who preceded both your grace and your pain, or those slippers, ruby made into a dress, reminding us all that home is the heart we all seek. brain, often, you cry. often, you must find a moat to make certain no sailors make way through your lake of ache. brain, your skull is simply one big bone and bones break easily and often, brain, i do not always handle your structure, or even your waves of sea with all the love the ocean deserves, but here is my promise today, right now: i will hold you as my mother did when i pushed out her womb and was held at her breast. i will kiss your bloody body. i will be unafraid of the grime, the slimy guts. i try to tell my brain, you are an organ, but you are the life of all that makes me a life of my own, and i will claim you as my own. i will sob at the life of you now out of me and now all of you. still, i will do my best to protect you as a wolf does; come for its kin and it will kill. and the bones of the hunter, the mother will lick as clean and as pure as the moon.

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Continue reading “moon-cleansed” – Poetry by Monica Lewis

“The Headless Mule” – Fiction by H. Pueyo

From our Winter 2018 issue, “The Headless Mule” is H. Pueyo‘s blazingly surreal flash fiction based on Brazilian folklore.

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TOUCH, YES, BUT JUST A LITTLE—she said, her, the mule, the one who would stop having a head. Sitting on the church’s pew, she waited, blouse unbuttoned and skirt lifted, looking at the altar. Many things crossed her mind as he helped himself: his hands, hot like maize cake, freshly baked. The wooden cross, gilded, the thrushes outside, singing. Not a word to anybody, yes?—he said, and she nodded, blushing. How glorious it was, to be loved, again, and touched, by someone, anyone, even if it was him, even by a priest.

The widow covered herself, and kissed the tip of his nose. Will we see each other again?—she asked. Tomorrow, or the other day, or on next Sunday’s Mass?

Sure thing—he said, covering his crotch with his cassock. She leaned for another kiss, but didn’t receive any.

Outside, it was night, well, almost. It was that hour where the clouds fog the furious lightness of the day, and orange and pink turn slowly into blue, purple and black. I will miss you—she said, finger twirling around a loose curl. The priest disappeared in the shadows of the closed church.

She hid under the veil, as dark as her clothing, and hurried to leave as well.

Some children still played in the park, and their nursery rhymes could be heard between the birds: last one there is the priest’s wife, the priest’s wife, the priest’s wife… She hugged herself, feeling strange. Her forehead felt numb, her hands and feet throbbed, her nape hurt. The wind erased the day’s hotness, and a chill went down her spine.

There was still a long way to go to reach her home, but she could only think of him—the priest’s wife, the priest’s wife, the priest’s wife—his hands, his smell, his ways. If they had been lucky, they would have been born far away, and this secret wouldn’t have existed in the first place.

The widow looked up, walking beneath the trees, following the path of the dirt road. Slowly, she realized something was happening to her: her weak knees hit the floor, her elbows contorted, turning, breaking. Her skirt furled around her legs, and she screamed, thinking again of the priest: if someone saw her, would he help her? Or would he turn his back on her, and pray, washing his own hands? Continue reading “The Headless Mule” – Fiction by H. Pueyo

“the old head verses (ecclesiastes) 21-25” – Poetry by Kwame Opoku-Duku

Dreams No. 2 – Jacob Lawrence, 1965

“the old head verses (ecclesiastes) 21 – 25” is one of two fiercely beautiful poems by Kwame Opoku-Duku from our Winter 2018 issue.

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21 THE MOST BEAUTIFULEST SHIT
              in the whole world can
             be the ugliest shit at the
             same time/ like toilet paper
             & black plastic bags
             hanging from a cherry blossom
             in the spring/
or the smile of a wretch as you
             put the dollar in his cup &
             he says god bless you
              & you walk away/
or the wrath of a mother’s
             love/ beaten into her
             through generations/
or the son’s tears as he chokes
             the doctor who cannot
             save her/
22 when was the last time we
             dreamed? what did
             we dream of?
23 it gets hard to think with
             all that laughing in
             the background/
24 it gets hard & you think
             that shit will never
             change/ & the desire
             to pass through
             life like a shadow becomes
             greater than the desire
             to raise your voice in vain/
25 plus all everybody do is talk & take
             pictures of themselves/
             so you can see why folks might
             just save their breath
             when you see everybody
             huddled up crying on
             the news/ asking why/
& you see so much beauty in the world
             & you wonder  how much
             of beauty is really real

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Continue reading “the old head verses (ecclesiastes) 21-25” – Poetry by Kwame Opoku-Duku

“X-Ray” – Fiction by Rosie Adams

eye-escher
Eye – M.C. Escher, 1946

From our Winter 2018 issue, “X-Ray” is Rosie Adams’ unnerving yet captivating flash fiction, which we recently nominated for inclusion in the 2018 Best Small Fictions Anthology.

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WHEN THE STEREO BEGAN TO BUZZ AND DISTORT I knew it was time and my heart leapt up to take its place in my mouth his voice was garbled and faraway as if speaking into the phone through a glass his profile picture was a close up of his EYE the picture had an effect added to it the name of the effect might have been X-Ray it turned light colours dark and vice versa giving the picture an unnerving quality inverted colours everything a variation of green I saw the EYE when I closed my own it followed me into my dreams I had the feeling of my organs clasped in an icy grip I stopped breathing out I passed the time waiting for Messages and Signs the relationship seemed to be taking place on another planet he had to be the one to contact me if I tried to initiate he would not respond there were rules that were never said out loud some of them I might have imagined whether imagined or not I devoted all my energy to following them I needed to keep the EYE on me without it I knew I would become hopelessly depressed
finally we met in real life I knew him by the way he crept towards me his lips did not move when he spoke he immediately placed his hands on my breasts and put his mouth over mine I was sure I could hear something inside him I imagined that it was his heart the details of him I can remember his clothes made a great deal of noise squeaking leather I could hear his steel toed boots walking a street away he wore a lot of glinting silver attracting attention from local birds his flesh was cool to the touch turning blue in some places today I search for him on the internet I find him commenting on message boards for a television programme that has been off the air for ten years I feel the EYE urging me to do the things I did in my youth the undoing of my shirt and jeans the slow pulling of a sock from the end of my foot the teeth of his zip raking along my cheek on the mattress on his floor he said I was sexy enough to be a glamour model now the skin of my breasts is growing slack a cluster of spidery veins has appeared on my left calf I would be ashamed for him to see me still I yearn to be watched I find myself scanning the blank faces of people in the vicinity customers I’m serving passersby I realise I am taking stock of their EYES as I do this I recite a minor prayer waiting for my breath to catch then hold and hold.

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Continue reading “X-Ray” – Fiction by Rosie Adams

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #19, In Pictures

A towering bonfire of gratitude to everyone who helped make our 19th reading such a toasty & crackling evening: Kwame, Valerie, William, Monica, and Gabriela for performing your flappy lits; Alibi Jones for your scintillating singing & photography; Pacific Standard for the ever-gracious hospitality; and all you lovely humans who came out on a Winter’s night to witness it all.  Let’s do this again on February 21 for our 20th (!) Reading / Year Four Flight Party…

photos by Alibi Jones

 Kwame Opoku-Duku reads some of his Ecclesiastes-inspired poetry

Valerie Hsiung shares some powerful excerpts from in her own words

William Lessard performs some of his brilliantly surreal “Facebook” poems
Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #19, In Pictures