Tag Archives: Street Music

Our 2015 Best of the Net Nominees Are…

Our nominations for the 2015 Best of the Net anthology, which honors literary work that originally appeared on the internet between 7/1/2014 & 6/30/2015, are:

“ARG” – Anthony Michael Morena (short fiction)
“Street Music” – Emily O’Neill (poetry)
“Invocation: Joan of Arc Reads the Crowd” – Jennifer MacBain-Stephens (poetry)
“9 lessons in witchcraft” – Danielle Perry (poetry)
“The Rud Yard” – Vajra Chandrasekera (short fiction)

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

“Street Music” – Poetry by Emily O’Neill

Sleeping Princess - Frances MacDonald, 1909
Sleeping Princess – Frances MacDonald, 1909

Emily O’Neills poetry is vicious yet vulnerable, visceral yet cerebral, and completely at home in the Flapperhouse. We’re excited to include five of her poems in our Fall 2014 issue (PDFs currently pre-orderable for $3US). One of those poems, “Street Music,” is below:

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cunt like a jewelry box:
dancer spinning over wooden toe & inside,
a jeweled egg.  Yolkless.

Inside the egg, another dancer
with hands over her mouth.
Inside her mouth, a bird
on a perch singing needle
song, a cranking tin machine

& the needles are shining brass
& brass is a lie to tell a child
about who stays in charge

& children don’t always trust
like a blind man must & the metal is cold
like a lover rolled over & we know
it will tarnish

on a long enough timeline.  The chain breaks.
The blind man steps off a curb & is not thrown into crosswalk
death by a stranger’s rush. The child pricks her finger on a spindle
& sleeps until she ages past ache.  She will never ask
if the wolves could’ve raised her better
because she taught herself to howl
just fine.

The needles fly back into the bird’s throat & sew a new song;
a sailor sings it from a nest above the sea
& doffs his hat for the dancer’s legs, the dancer’s breasts,

the dancer’s hips spun and barbed like razor wire.  She crumples
under the sailor’s gaze, is discarded.  The egg closes its shining jaws around her,

steals her from what frivolous nothing
the world says she means

& I keep dancing
away from
the cut.

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