Tag Archives: Joanna C. Valente

“Lucifer Says” – Poetry by Joanna C. Valente

Untitled - Dora Maar, 1936
Untitled – Dora Maar, 1936

Enter the magically surreal secret room of “Lucifer Says,” one of 5 spellbinding poems by Joanna C. Valente in our Winter 2016 issue. Buy yourself a copy of FLAPPERHOUSE #8 if you’d like to read the rest…

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AT NIGHT, THERE IS A SECRET ROOM in your aunt’s house with a little door
and inside the little door, a heart beats. there is no body to house the heart
like the house houses a million bodies with guts inside that beat a body
inside an ocean so salty, there is hardly any blood. inside a room without
windows, R tries on black dresses, lets down his hair and puts charcoal
around his eyes until they are as dark as his closet, puts silver on his lids
and bats until a boy emerges from his armoire, his legs molting into feathers
until he flies into the ceiling fan—splits open like a zebra torn apart
by a lion. R stands naked in front of his mirror and the mirror turns into
a faraway forest where a wizard plays ukulele over a dying woman’s body
until the woman lies dead until the full moon turns her into a boy and then
back into a woman until she is neither. R dreams of this woman.

the woman wakes up in a field of trees made by metal and rock. she walks
down a crooked path until she finds a sign that says downtown r train. she
throws her body—so slow and tired it feels like someone else’s body not
even human—onto the train until she falls into R’s bed. R sees her
from the mirror—cradles her until she becomes human again, until she
feels like the earth is forming in her belly, giving birth on his bed and he
holds their baby in his arms, breathing it out, breathing it in. He looks at
the woman and calls her T and breathes into her ear and she breathes into
his until they no longer are, until they both are everywhere else outside
their bodies.

{ X } Continue reading “Lucifer Says” – Poetry by Joanna C. Valente

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #5 in Pictures

A jillion juicy thank-yous to everyone who helped make Reading #5 such a joy: Bud, Joanna, Jon, Shawn, Franz, J.E., & Ron for reading your flappy lits; Alibi for your scintillating singing & lovely photography; Pacific Standard for your warm hospitality; and all you sweet sexy people who came out on a Winter Wednesday night to watch us. How ’bout we do this again on, say, March 23rd?

photos by Alibi Jones


Bud Smith reads his flash fiction “Tiger Blood,” originally published at Hobart


Joanna C. Valente reads “Chapel of Sacred Mirrors,” one of five powerful poems she contributed to FLAPPERHOUSE #8 Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #5 in Pictures

“Chapel of Sacred Mirrors” – Poetry by Joanna C. Valente

Cosmic Energy - Remedios Varo, circa 1956
Cosmic Energy – Remedios Varo, circa 1956

If you’re ravenous for a taste of FLAPPERHOUSE #8, check out “Chapel of Sacred Mirrors” below, one of five spellbinding poems by Joanna C. Valente in our forthcoming Winter 2016 issue.

To read the rest of Joanna’s contributions to our weird little zine, you could pre-order a digital (PDF) copy for $3US and it will fly into your emailbox by the Winter Solstice. And if you’ll be in the NYC area on January 6, you can come see Joanna read some of her work, along with many other very flappy writers, at FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #5 / Issue #8 Flight Party!

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WHEN YOU ARE FOUR YEARS OLD, you still fit in the crawl
spaces of your first house and feel the world as too big

and long for a lack of space, an end to absence
like the glue sticks that never stick the red heart

to the white letter paper from a forest
that doesn’t exist and no one worries about

where bears skin old women alive before
lighting candles pink as their necks

before the sounds they make being shoved
against a wall, choking—a  violin underwater

all alone like a body is a letter you rip
open—neither look pretty when you rip its seams

apart, find clumps like hair inside a medicine
bottle with random letters smudged off

by touch—can’t remember whose, doesn’t
matter because I’m drunk and there’s nothing

inside my body to hear except swans
eating the hearts of their mates after they make

love, mistaking veins for birthday candles
on top of cakes dreamt up by humans who still

love each other—if they realized their eventual

fate is to be dead forever, would they even
bother to begin with?

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joannavalente_bwJOANNA C. VALENTE is sometimes a mermaid and sometimes a human. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014) and The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press), and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. Her collection Marys of the Sea is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in 2016. Some of her work appears in The Huffington Post, Columbia Journal, The Atlas Review, The Destroyer, among others. In 2011, she received the American Society of Poet’s Prize. She edits Yes, Poetry, and is the Managing Editor for Luna Luna Magazine.

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #5 / Issue #8 Flight Party

Come experience a post-Solstice epiphany & join us as we celebrate the flight of our 8th issue with our 5th reading on 3 Kings’ day– that’s  WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6 from 7 to 9 PM at Pacific Standard, 82 Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn.