Photography by Rudy Tambala
Jübl – Thinking Sweet E.P.
Dreampop means different things to different people. One thing that everyone should be in agreement with is that A.R. Kane were some of the founders of the genre. Their groundbreaking album ‘69’ should be in every fan of that classes collection in one form or another. Rudy and Maggie Tambala along with guitarist/vocalist Andy Taylor, have been playing and recording together under that moniker since 2015. On the occasion of the seminal albums 30th anniversary, the band decided to re-brand themselves for their new output. Jübl is the outcome. According to the band, “Jübl is pronounced Jhuw-Bahl or Joo-bawl 0r You-val or Juis-bleu or whatever works for your unique tongue - we just like the shape.”
There are 2 versions of their latest E.P. a downloadable 3 track version and a special, limited edition 4 track USB of 20 copies. The latter includes a beautiful branded 2GB USB stick in a box that can easily fit into your CD rack, glossy finish photo signed/dated/numbered by the band with credits on the reverse. Owners of this also get a bonus dubgaze mix of "Sweet Dreams", not available elsewhere.
The lead track, “Thinking About You”, is a blissful trip. Andy and Maggie’s perfectly matched vocals croon above the trip-hoppy beat and acoustic/electric guitar interplay. Moments of reverb and distortion rise to the top of the mix creating wonderful dissonance to the lush calm already laid down. “Sweet Dreams” continues in the same vein with a relaxing mix of guitar, bass and beat that stream you out to the cosmos in symphonic style. “Thinking Sweet Füsion” is a seamless mix of the two previous songs.
It’s an old adage that “The more things change, the more they stay the same”, but in the case of Jübl, it’s a welcome dictum. Chilling out to this E.P. makes me eager for what’s to come. Sure there is a lot of music out there in this vein, however when it comes straight from some of the originators, you know the authenticity is there. The feeling that comes from the flow of the notes is genuine. Posers take note. Jübl are here to make you take notice and show you how it’s done.
Keep up with Jübl
Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter, Youtube and Bandcamp.
Michael Mitchell's love of music started at an early age and slowly became an addiction that courses through his veins to this very day. It is guaranteed that if you are in his proximity that he will try to get you to travel to the nearest record store and make you buy beyond your means. His wife and two children acknowledge his problem and continue to encourage him into rehab.
After three long blessed years of editing this humble little corner of the literary web I finally decided to switch Anti-Heroin Chic's format to an issue based platform, rather than rolling blog posts. This month features a very diverse group of creatives, each tackling uniquely different landscapes, some more forgiving than others. Some filled with humor, others with heartache. All of them irreplaceable and so very necessary. I've never published work that I didn't deeply believe in, which is to say I've yet to come across an expression of pain, survival and healing that hasn't in some way spoken to the parts of me that needed gentle and sometimes fierce reminders that what we do and create matters, unreligiously-it saves. I think of AHC as a space for the walking wounded, but I've yet to meet a single soul who doesn't in some way have their own fair share of shadow perched up on their shoulders. In this issue there is as much dark as light to contend with.
Marisa Crane brings us a haunting and painful grappling with the relationship between fathers and daughters, with one's past, the precious and heartbreaking things that made us. There is beautiful determination and hope in her poems as well as empathy with a parent who may or may not have done right by her. "father / who are you? / i know it’s not a / fair question for me to ask." By the end we find "heart[s] full / heart[s] broken / all at once." Crane doesn't sugar coat anything, but neither does she burn everything to the ground. She grapples admirably with the failing light of parents and the places and people that both make and unmake us.
Joshua Dean Smith, on the cusp of fatherhood, revisits in his own beautiful way the places that shaped him. Parenthood and My Teachers look into a past of Silver Maples and Scar tissue, of what we're able to save and what we're not. He writes of "kisses that felt brave / but now are language." These two poems are both deeply gorgeous and wise. They are gentle spirits and the taste of their words is so rewarding.
Kristin Garth brings us a painful, fiery sonnet of men who abuse their power. Babysitter's driven home by fathers who break the rules, passing on trauma that can never completely be alleviated. Somehow the power of the poem finds a way to make sense and light out of so much darkness and harm.
Julene Tripp Weaver brings us her fantastic Rules on Life from a Green Witch, with the powerful Disclaimer: "most everything in your life depends on where you are born, to whom and into what class or clan." "Write one sentence per day: ordain it a poem," she advises. As a practicing psychotherapist there is the kindness of the listening and attuned ear in this poem. This poem is so very wise and necessary. It feels like that voice on the other end of the telephone at 2 a.m. when one's life is in crisis, a good, kind friend reminding us to breathe, slow down and tell them everything that happened.
Lael Lopez is a 15 year old poet with much promise. In Little Times she writes: "Where everything is terribly wrong / Or perfectly right / That we see who we really are / We see who we should trust / And who we shouldn’t / Who we loved / And who we couldn’t / That’s why I love / These little times." Such incredible verse from one so young, Lael has a gift that will surely only keep growing ever stronger with the years to come.
Harley Claes brings us two poems of love and lust, of pain that is the great precursor to every life. Injured minds, the damage, and the solace that comes from knowing what ails us, however imperfect and often not nearly enough such solace is.
Eva Cherokee El Beze brings us on a personal journey to the far corners of the world. She describes these poems as being "inspired by the idea of Akasha. In Sanskrit this word means space; coupled with the theory of theosophy and anthroposophy that akashic records are a compendium of thoughts, events and emotions that can be encoded in a nonphysical plane of existence." Beze's two poems are a type of journal of the fragile human in-between, the above and the below. Sacred and filled with longing these poems have wings and they take flight.
Alex Harrison writes of "smoke filled people sitting around their empty ice boxes." One imagines small town despair, of the noisy barrooms where "Cheerful eyes hide broken hearts." A powerful poem that ends with one of my favorite verses; "A name like a lake, / You put out fires / Bigger than all the ideas I’ve ever had. / Be proud of that."
Rachel M. Patterson brings us the Jagged Pit, that deep despair we come to know throughout our lives. How do we come through intact? How do we go on despite feeling so internally dark and broken? "Suffering breeds a crack in the gate." And that's most often how light enters, as Leonard Cohen reminds us.
Judge Burdon brings us life on the skids. Hard times have taken their toll, and yet there is a longing to return home, to a place whose truth is written in on our ragged soul. "Kneels down for one more unanswered prayer. / But there's no one listening out there!" Yet there is a porch line on somewhere, Burdon insists, and we must find it come hell or high water.
Liezel Graham brings us a healing touch with her comforting poems. There is such beauty happening here even in the face of loss, despair, pain, and unbearably long, long nights. "If the child / deep within / your skin / is weeping, / sit with her / in sorrow / Rub kindness into / her wounds," Graham urges. Remind that inner child that they're okay, that they've done absolutely nothing wrong. How do we parent the internal parts of ourselves that never got the things they needed early on? By beginning. Step by step, day by day. Bravely. Unendingly.
Our featured poet Maxana Goettl brings five outstanding poems to AHC. "if i cleaned everything would you come back?" Goettl asks the one who has left. What is our fault and what is not? We can only tend to our side of the street, and loving others often blurs those lines, who brought what, who left what, what is yours, what is mine? She writes straight into memory with a scalpel of longing "the place before tears is sticky / yellow. in the veins behind your / eyes, at the front of the pink / matter. the place before tears / holds tapes. home videos and / dusty cds. coloring books. all / yellow. we swim in the place / before tears." Maxana Goettl is a poet of courage and confession, consolation and sorrow. These are deeply treasured and storied poems.
Emily Kellogg brings us four interconnected CNF pieces which explore the normalization of sexual abuse through popular culture (Gossip Girl), the denigration of women in Von Masoch, a book that once belonged to an ex. In Self Destruction she writes; "There’s a reason people self-destruct. It’s fun." Wisely pointing out that in self destructing "your audience is fickle. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between the people who have come to destroy themselves beside you, and those who have come to help break you up. Either way, they’ll leave eventually. They’ll either leave because they’ve grown tired of destroying themselves, or they’ll leave because they’re tired of destroying you." These four pieces stand alone yet also tap into each other in profoundly rewarding ways. They are deeply personal and wise.
Brian Michael Barbeito brings his gorgeous verse to life in his CNF explorations of time and place. In Shallow Words (What They said before Death) he writes; "It’s sad. People grow physically but not psychologically. This I have come to know. Unless you do some inner work a process of maturation does not actually happen always." A poignant reminder that much is up to us, to the work we may or may not be willing to do. There are echoes of Proust weaving through these seven marvelous Belles Lettres. A rich and beautiful read.
In Lions Den Ron Burch brings us a story of a young man with limited options in desperate need of work applying for a position in the crude and unforgiving environment of a sex shop, and the owner's subtle, heartbreaking warning to the kid; don't do this, get out while you can, before you become me.
Veronica Klash brings us the all too familiar dilema of our now modern daily lives, the decision to unfollow "friends" on social media. But what happens when you come across profiles of the dead? Are we reminded in those moments that our relationships with one another are not as abstract as we like to think?
Demond J Blake brings us a bit of comic relief with his story The Shrug of Life. Yet not without its harsh and unforgiving landscape. Stand up comedy, free beer and blood. "He was caught in the suburb trap. I was of the streets, I lived off of ramen, mac n' cheese, beer and wine. I slept in a concrete fountain pump, I listened to Coast to Coast Am; I knew things." Blake has a keen wit that reminds one at times of David Foster Wallace.
Our resident music reviewer Michael Mitchell offers up his take on the new self titled Searmana's album, which he describes as "Stunningly beautiful with the right amount of glitch."
I hope you enjoy this issue and our new format. I am sincerely grateful to all of you who have helped to make this journal what it is, a journey and exploration of surviving without recourse to easy answers. Of digging deep and singing loud. Blood sweat and tears. And also beauty. Despite the pain and trauma that almost kills us we find in our varied voices a way to speak into life and light.
Featured Poet: Maxana Goettl was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. Her poetry explores tenderness, strangeness, loss, depression, and touch. She deals primarily with the translation of feeling to paper, the mechanics of the mind to the body of work. She currently lives in Tempe, Arizona, and is pursuing a degree in Creative Writing at Arizona State University.
Flickr JD Gordon
P A R E N T H O O D
The silver maple in my backyard is infused
with the rusted chain-link, impossible to tell
where the tree begins and the fence ends. You
can imagine a skinnier youth, when it
innocently weaved its way through boundaries,
from my yard to the next. But it couldn't go
the way it came, history on my side, present somewhere else, and the
at best. Four inches of scar tissue, bark the color of brain
soaked in formaldehyde. Every year it grows into death
and more of that fence disappears. I irrationally love this
tree, and as an ill-equipped savior I dulled my
wire-cutters against its struggle. I don't think I saved it,
but trees don't die quickly, and over time it will swallow
those wires like drowning hands reaching for rescue.
MY T E A C H E R S
Selling cheddar and caramel popcorn to the
two Mrs. Smiths and Miss Keffer, the
matron saints of Pleasant Valley Road.
Kisses that left red lips on my forehead.
Mile hikes through pine forests and shin-deep
snow to Kim and Kate, whispering when the
deer stopped to watch us carve sharp hearts into
Kisses that shared honey lip balm.
Motionless hours with Rebekah, quieting
over health and heaven watching rosebuds
the empty park. Kisses that felt brave, but now
are language: greetings and wishes, congratulations,
happy six year anniversary and thanks for
everything you are.
And, maybe, a daughter on my shoulders
steering me through our yard. New kisses,
new words: how do I thank her for everything
she will be?
Joshua Dean Smith currently works as a data storyteller, where he integrates mathematics, art, and technology to transform data into compelling stories. His work has been featured in the anthology "Ohio's Best Emerging Poets" and the online journal "The Grove". He grew up in the Appalachian region of Ohio, and currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Rebekah, his dog, Wild Jane, and his cat, Ernest Hemingway (and he has a little boy on the way).
There’s a reason people self-destruct. It’s fun. People like to watch demolition derbies and action movies and wrestling matches because there’s nothing better than seeing things smash and bleed and burn. I liked bumper cars as a kid. I didn’t like hitting other people, but I loved smashing against the wall. I would find a corner and jostle back and forth again and again, whipping my head in every direction and laughing. Sometimes my brother would spot me and yell, trying to bait me into confrontation. But I barely noticed. I just kept smashing into the wall until burning rubber filled my lungs and I could no longer see straight.
Despair drives people away, but self-destruction is different. When you’re in the middle of self-destructing, you don’t have to be alone. People are drawn to you because you are both the moth and the flame. My death wish makes me fearless. My death wish makes me free. But your audience is fickle. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between the people who have come to destroy themselves beside you, and those who have come to help break you up. Either way, they’ll leave eventually. They’ll either leave because they’ve grown tired of destroying themselves, or they’ll leave because they’re tired of destroying you. The trouble comes when there’s nothing left of you to destroy, when you’re all ash and rubble and hangover, and there’s nothing left of you to smash or bleed or burn.
I’ve never been very good at taking care of things that belong to me. At eleven I killed a cactus. At fifteen my mother yelled at me over a pile of crumpled clothes. You don’t deserve to have nice things. I worry she’s right. I haven’t treated my body well. I pump it full of toxic things. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I’m surprised to find my face round and full of colour. How do you do it? I ask. How do you keep on living without any help from me? But sometimes when I look in the mirror my face is crumpled and grey. And so I spend a lot of money on makeup. I’m a Sephora Insider. I smear Makeup Forever Matt Velvet Foundation in Porcelain deep into my pores and dab High Beam illuminator on my cheek and brow bones until I look like a real person. I stare at my reflection and think Do you see? Do you see what a good woman you can be?
If you can’t take care of your things, I’ll give them away to someone who can, my mother used to threaten. I’ve given my body away more than once. Perhaps if I belong to someone else, I thought, I won’t keep getting trampled. Perhaps I can finally get off the floor. I thought men might treat me better than I’d treated myself. They didn’t. I thought love might teach me how to nurture myself. It didn’t, but I must have learned how to photosynthesize cruelty because, unlike the cactus, there’s more left to me than a shriveled stub.
Chuck Bass’ Pet Monkey
Gossip Girl premiered while I was still in prep school, snorting a lot of Adderall in between panic attacks about my SAT scores. The show was based on a book series by Cecily von Ziegesar. In the books, bad-boy-hotel-heir Chuck Bass had a pet monkey. TV’s Chuck Bass didn’t. I don’t know why. Maybe the producers blew the monkey budget on sexy teen Serena van der Woodsen’s iconic blonde hair extensions or on diamond headbands for Chuck Bass’ girlfriend, sexy teen Blair Waldorf.
In real life, bad-boy-pop-star Justin Bieber had a pet monkey, but it was confiscated by German custom officials. That’s because in real life people shouldn’t have monkeys for pets and they certainly shouldn’t travel with them across international borders.
Monkeys can rip your face off if you’re not careful. Someone’s pet chimp ripped off a woman’s face in 2009. Her facial reconstructive surgery failed when her immune system rejected the transplanted skin.
If I’d written Gossip Girl Chuck Bass would keep a pet monkey in his penthouse hotel suite. After the episode when he sexually assaults little freshman, Jenny Humphrey, at the Kiss on the Lips party, he would have gone back to the hotel and gotten loaded on expensive scotch. And then later that night the monkey would have ripped his fucking face off. For the next few seasons of the show Chuck Bass would have to wear an iron mask to hide his monkey-fucked face while spending all of his money on botched facial reconstructive surgery.
If I’d written Gossip Girl, after my boyfriend cheated on me and later said But don’t we like to experiment, just like Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass? I wouldn’t have said Oh. I guess so. and thought Fuck. What’s wrong with me?
I would have said Fuck you. and thought What’s wrong with him? Why is he talking about that guy with the monkey-fucked face?
I Treat My Depression with Gossip Girl
I start drinking NyQuil before bed because otherwise I won’t sleep. I keep it in a drawer next to my bed with empty packs of cigarettes, a mickey of vodka, and a few condoms that I don’t think I’ll ever use but don’t have the heart to throw away. After a few weeks even Nyquil won’t put me to sleep, so I spend hours streaming videos on my MacBook. Kristen Bell’s narration of Gossip Girl becomes a hypnotic fever dream. XOXO. In the mornings I make coffee and drink it at my kitchen table because it seems like something that a real person would do. I’m too anxious to be a real person, so I have to pretend. I’m too anxious to leave my apartment, so instead I read things other people have written until I am so full of the words of others that the ones in my head break down and become meaningless. I do this for days until I am numb and then I can finally sleep again. One night I dream that I wake up in my ex’s arms. We’re in Paris. I’m so happy. I wake up alone at 4am. I feel a pressure on my chest. I can’t breathe. I drink vodka on my fire escape and wake to the sound of screaming racoons. My legs are dangling into empty air. I go drink more vodka, and think about death while I watch the sun rise. My MacBook is falling apart. The battery is broken, and the keyboard only works half of the time. The mouse doesn’t work at all. But the computer still downloads and plays the new Spring TV lineup. The shows are glossy and stylized. The screen is smudged and dirty.
Venus in Furs
After my ex and I broke up for either the third or fourth time, I stole a couple of his books. I guess I felt like he owed me. I’ve lost or donated most of them over the years, but I still keep his copy of Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher on my shelf. It’s inscribed. April 2008, his handwriting is messy and cramped, If found please return. Please is underlined twice. Scribbled at the bottom of the page, almost as an afterthought, it says First book after turning 18. 18 is also underlined twice. Every couple of years I flip through the book. Sometimes, I laugh. But on some nights I flip to the wrong page and I feel sick.
Tonight I reread a random passage.
The moral is that woman, as Nature created her and as she is currently reared by man, is his enemy and can only be his slave or despot, but never his companion.
I feel sick.
On one of our mornings together drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, my ex told me about a dream. In the dream he was watching his own funeral, as from above. He observed his corpse lying in an open casket. His ex-girlfriends were all lined up, all hopeful to take a piece of his body home. I waited at the back of the line. I watched his ex-girlfriend rip out his embalmed heart.
His ex-girlfriend got his heart, and all I got was a scar on my inner thigh and this stupid fucking sadomasochistic book.
Emily Kellogg’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Entropy Magazine, Hazlitt, and The Puritan. In 2017, her creative nonfiction work received an honourable mention in Room Magazine‘s CNF competition and was shortlisted for PRISM International‘s CNF prize. She was recently named one of three finalists for the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society's 2018 prize. A selection of her work is available on her website: https://www.emilykellogg.com/
When I was
I watched you
as life bled
all over my splintered
to the cheap peace
at the bottom of
— A childhood fractured.
The way that you
all my jagged edges
all my cracks
Allowing me to love
—How we should love (on second chances).
If the child
sit with her
Rub kindness into
over her fears.
is how you will
And despite it all,
my heart kept on
A quiet reminder,
was not over.
— I am strong(er).
I sit awhile
my oldest friend.
Both of us
in the silent
language of tears
must be given
or they become
on my skin;
on my behalf.
— On why I write.
Liezel Graham lives in Scotland with her husband and son. She writes poetry about loss, mental health, postnatal depression, bulimia recovery and recovery from a chaotic childhood. Espresso gives her superpowers and silence is her oxygen.
8/1/2018 0 Comments
Flickr: Ben Seidelman
Looking for Marmalade City, An Episodic Enlightenment Story in Seven Belles Lettres
Birth Time Unknown
Overcast. Solemn. There is a long moment among the streets and their strip plazas then when everything is empty and nothing happens save for a small bit of wind parceled out from the sky. At least the rain is coming, one might think. But it doesn’t for a while. The Gods or someone or something like a cosmic council is behind the scenes configuring, calculating, deciding on something and the verdict or result is not quite ‘in’ yet, thus no sun, but no thunder, lightning, or rains either. The hospital was against logic and reason practically empty. How could it be? A vacant but running hospital. The woman in labor is tended to. She is white and has a French Canadian name. The year is 1973, and it’s before many things. The bricks are old that hold up the hospital. They are an uninspiring hue, and then finally it rains on the entire building, the township, and on those less than desirable strip plazas. The woman is in some sort of psychological and life trouble above and beyond the process of giving birth. But, a baby is born. Its summer. The air had been unsettled before the storms. June storms. Different pressure systems, - dips and rises and fluctuations. The doctors and nurses forget or simply neglect to mark down the time. And for the sky, the water, the darkness in the day, it will be hard to guess at. Time. Birth. Knowledge. Storm. Double crown. Difficult star. Mercury. Dread and joy together. Hazards and fortune. The magician. The universe makes or lets what it wants and doesn’t always attend to what a low context society deems important. Grace. Care. It might give you some of those. Even love. The love of the constellations. A council has spoken.
White. Hunter Green. Orange, purple, and pink. Riding in the winter. There is a Chinese restaurant somewhere to the right with what I even know then is a beautiful sign for its neon glow. I can’t read the words. I can’t even understand the idea of not being able to read words. There are not a lot of cars around. I am not happy and I am not sad. I am utterly confused. I am lost. A lost soul. My mother even says so, and not in a pejorative way or fashion, - just stating a sad fact, - even in a loving way. But I like chocolate donuts and she buys me one of these because I do in the end feel more sad than happy. She is worried I may be cold so puts me in long underwear each time before the nursery school she takes me to. But,- once inside I am hot, and itchy, and can hardly move in the long johns, which are under already tight fitting corduroy pants. The other kids paint, and are adjusted. I am speechless (they think I may have a hearing problem), - and confused as usual. Later in life I will keep the idea and practice of eating the chocolate donuts and eventually not only take off my underwear but never, ever, wear underwear again. Besides, my guru, Osho, said never to wear underwear because it inhibits the chakras and their natural movement. So,- I am forever buying chocolate doughnuts as I stand,- clothed, a patron of sugar and dough, with no underwear winter or summer, spring or fall- because I am trying to be free, gain enlightenment, and also balance the universe for the long john days. And you have to start somewhere or you’ll never begin at all.
Warm is the Rain
I am in Ft. Lauderdale, and I walk down a corridor on the third floor of a building. I wear the t-shirt that says my name, which is Brian, on the back. It’s a gym t-shirt from school. I for some reason love this t-shirt but there is not a lot that is special about it. And its red, a color I am not regularly fond of. Its peculiar to think in my way of thinking that it is sometimes later warmed against putting children’s names on shirts because a predator can call them by name and the kid forgets in the moment that your name is on your shirt so to speak. I don’t know if it’s an urban legend type thing or if it ever happened but I suppose it could. Why give evil a chance? So I think they got away from putting those names or else it just went out of fashion. I do know that the kid Adam Walsh was abducted earlier and killed not far from there, in Hollywood Fla., which is where we would visit and I was around there at the time, - somewhere after, - because my great aunt lived there and we went there always for a few days, - away from the beach and the pool and the fun. His poster was later all over the place, at the pier- Have you Seen Adam?- and I asked who the kid was and my mom just said to hold her hand and stay close because someone took that kid away. I loved my mother and she was a good mother, still do, - still is. Well, I walked the rain, beside it. It was late August and I was feeling electrical and inspired, almost enlightened, - kundalini must have been everywhere, I must have been everywhere. The water was falling, and it was warm,- and the wind from the Atlantic Ocean there- at 1750 South Ocean BLVD,- Jade Beach East Apts,- blew it into the walkway and then I went from joyous to over-joyous. There are no words. Something about the natural elements, - about feeling that on my skin after living in Canadian winters and prosaic summers. This was a place, if you think about it, - where there must have once, - even hundreds of years ago, - been pirates. This is not far from Cuba, - and even the Caribbean, - though they classify it as sub-tropical and not tropical. And it’s close to or even in actual Hurricane Season there, don’t forget. To my left as I walk the open green and white stucco corridor are metal hurricane shutters. Maybe it was the beginning of a hurricane. How I loved it. To feel that, - to be in that, - - because when something external is so forceful and imbued with confidence and prowess, - it shakes you out of your small self and you get in touch, whether (ha- weather!)- or not you want to. You could become enlightened from such a Zen slap from the universe, - delivered via the natural elements. Probably somebody found me, as usual, and tried to bring me indoors and also into the secular and ‘sane’ world saying something like, ‘What do you think you are doing!’ And Burger King is inland! - And the mall and roller rinks and you can go to an air conditioned movie theater. Forget it. - Its paradisiacal to the max, hyperbole intended! Oh David Bowie says wild is the wild, but I say fine, - Warm is the Rain!
The Terrifying Angels and This is She (Misinterpreting Rilke or is it so?)
What Rainer meant was simple enough. Simple but profound and quite true for most people, then and now. But I misinterpreted it and carried my misinterpretation for a long time. I over-thought Rilke. He said, All angels are terrifying. It meant that in days of old and lore, the ancients, the seers, even common people, would accept the vision of an angel if it appeared whereas in his time even, if one was to show up it would be a more than messy situation. Have we lost touch with the metaphysical, with the sacred, with even and any feel for poetic mythos or with deeper meanings and happenings? Is this what Rilke was saying with his, All angels are terrifying? At the time I had known a woman with intense and wonderful eyes and ways, - the eyes could smile. She professed her love and then eventually the thing fell apart as they often do. If she was a regular person, then who cares and why? But she was not. And when I saw the female and the eyes in real life, and often in dreams, - I saw the eyes more burning with grace and glory than ever, - and I shuttered at her complete and alive beauty, benevolence, and brazenness. She was an angel to me then, and I was terrified. The angel had withdrawn her love, but she still existed. Angels aren’t supposed to withdraw love. I was terrified at what she was. Wasn’t the devil a fallen angel, and the highest angel at that? I knew she was only a human, - but she was more wonderful than a human at the same time. And, - she had descended in to pure secularism and the pursuit of material gain. She said the Virgin Mother was a fairy tale. She was promiscuous and haughty. How could such a thing happen? I turned to Rilke in those moments. I turned his words into something that could help me somehow. It made sense to me, in a particular time, at a certain stance or way or manner, that, All angels are terrifying.
Shallow Words (What they said Before Death)
It’s sad. People grow physically but not psychologically. This I have come to know. Unless you do some inner work a process of maturation does not actually happen always. I ran into this guy who had been battling cancer. He didn’t take the Dr. Cousins route, or the new age route, or any route. He was mean, ill-spirited and made fun of me like so many do. Then I heard he died. And it wasn’t the only time it happened. Another, - in what seemed like good health, looked like a marathon runner, - non-drinker and non-smoker, - well, - he dropped dead. In fact, - I don’t want to say their words. Just think haughty, prideful, and judgmental. We will all pass from the earth. Three others, - making five or six- did the same thing. One was rude continuously, - and he knew he was dying, - and this is my main memory of him- his rudeness. The other judged weight, appearance, and such like- spoke poorly of animals and people, and he died. Everyone dies, so maybe show a little kindness somewhere to ease your karmic burden though maybe I am nobody to say so, - I do.
They All Be like Kissy-Kissy in Mosquito Heaven but I Got Prayer Beads in My Pocket not a Condom
Going back to the jeep from the forest path I have to glance up to make sure no dogs are running towards me. Eight out of ten people are good with dogs. Some are not. Some just let them run too lose when they are a bit aggressive. It’s good to know your environment. Not everyone is there to walk dogs though. I am naïve, but learn. Sometimes there is a couple and they are making out, and sometimes they are in the forest. I just walk the other way. This happens when it is raining and when it is winter also. I never got the feeling it was a married couple. Married couples, - or even long term couples in love, - don’t as a rule make out all the time like some hot romance from a Hollywood movie. Plus,- who goes to the faraway gravel and dirt road in the middle of winter to park two cars, and then sit in one of the cars, or stand near the hood and make kissy-kissy? These are affairs. But I move on quickly,- it’s their business,- and I clutch the prayer beads or the rosary and drive away hoping to see a deer or dove, a pastoral winter scene with barn, Victorian home, wooden fence, and the quiet snow that caresses it all.
In Marmalade City by the Neon Palms Again
I should be back in and along that coastline. I was unawake then, and am awake now. I want to see the old haunts and experience the environs and atmosphere of Ft. Lauderdale and Pompano. I could go skating in the rink, and rise in the morning smelling the salt air, seeing the whitecaps that roll up and over on the waves. I want to swim and accidently swallow water and choke briefly so that the salt enters my brain, my throat, my mind, my soul. Away from books and learning, from writing and photography, from the discordant cities of the north imbued with urban sprawl. If you look at a jar of marmalade in the brightness of the outside day, and better yet in the sun, - there can be sparkles and bits of light. That area is like that, the asphalt and concrete have light, as do the grains of sand. If Whitman walked that beach he would have called his oeuvre not Leaves of Grass, but Grains of Sand. But it doesn’t matter. I want to walk past the bonfire at night and listen to the ocean high tide-song. On a live weather cam I saw the same little bits of sea-weed and an actual cargo ship long and ugly and brownish in the far distant horizon travelling. I want to go to the pier. Do you want to go for a walk to the pier with me? I would show you everything. The little planes that fly banners in the sun adverting patio culture, live bands and a certain brand of happiness for those with enough money and heath, or the old catamaran that sits forever by the ocean, abandoned,- a resting place for walkers. I will see the light that is obvious, the light from the sun,- and also the bits cast on palm tree leaves verdant and trunks terrene that come from neon lights making a cherry glow. But there are bits of light besides and beyond, - it’s all available to the seeker and the seer, and this is not to even mention the inner light of beings and artifacts. I even want to see that ugly old cargo ship. I hope to go there in life, but if not, I know I will arrive in death. It’s all in Marmalade City.
Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian writer, poet and photographer. Recent work appears at Fiction International from San Diego State University, CV2 The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, and at Catch and Release-The Columbia Journal of Arts and Literature. Brian is the author of Chalk Lines (Fowl Pox Press, 2013, cover art by Virgil Kay). He is currently at work on the written and visual nature narrative titled Pastoral Mosaics, Journeys through Landscapes Rural.
Rules on Life from a Green Witch
1. Find someone to instruct.
2. Prevention. Prevention. Prevention:
2.a. Oat grass infusion;
2.b. Springtime nettles, cooked like spinach;
2.c. Lick the dew of dawn.
Appendix: Spoonfuls of organic earth while crawling through childhood.
3. Fermentation; like a God.
4. Remember, ancestors in the old country never visited doctors.
5. Write one sentence per day: ordain it a poem.
6. Yell when you feel like it, smile when you don’t; scream to release.
7. Expect surprises.
8. You are water, let your body have its own movement.
9. Your umbilical cord shifts earth mother to universe: rebirth is biological.
10. Breathe through your nose: in, out, in, out, calm slow; feel; will breath into each toe.
11. Your beliefs make who you become. A friend nurtures who you will become.
12. Silence is sacred.
13. A coven number for a perfect circle.
14. Accept what you want, even if you are not ready.
Disclaimer: most everything in your life depends on where you are born, to whom and into what class or clan.
She takes slow steps toward the street
you wait and give her your hand.
She says, Life is hard, so you have to love.
Wise, she says it again
holding tight to your arm
you walk her across the street, say, Thank you.
Don’t wait till anyone dies to be your true self.
Julene Tripp Weaver is a psychotherapist and writer in Seattle, WA. Her latest poetry book, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards and won the Bisexual Book Award. Her work is online at The Seattle Review of Books, HIV Here & Now, Voices in the Wind, Antinarrative Journal, and Writing in a Woman's Voice, you can find more of her writing at www.julenetrippweaver.com.
Will anything be left by the time I make it across these oceans?
Back to the beginning where your handprints, coated in spice, melt into the cracks of the casbah walls.
Can I race the clock to undulate?
High pitched, twirling in djellaba's threaded with gold.
Fatima paints spirals onto my cheekbones, etching tattoos onto my chin with the emperor's silver
Dipped into ink as jet black as your cascading mountainous curls.
Does time remember the tears that stained my very un-Cherokee cheekbones?
When the baby sat on my hip.
You boarded that plane to get so close to my destiny, yet, far enough away, the smell of bubbling
couscous did not wake him in time to see me heaving my shoulders in defeat.
Brother slurped harira.
The picture is grainy.
Black and white.
Faded from centuries of laying quietly in hand painted camel covered tin boxes.
Waiting to be discovered after your death.
After your cremation.
After the powdered sugar sticking my lips together with sweetness has been washed away.
Marrakech beckons to me as the gypsy girls on the corner wash windows.
Taunting me in their velour diamond encrusted skirts, mismatched head scarves, thick chunky clogs.
I plan secret trips to disappear into woven alleyways.
Following a dark skinned jewel to a cool waiting bed, exhaustion knocks me out.
Next time you should take me with you.
Next time you should make me learn the dances, the songs.
Make me learn how to bow down to a man so I am not always so alone.
Make sure you are on the dock waiting for me.
Invisible energy wrapping me in those tender embraces that were few and far between.
I can raise a glass of mint tea to you.
Smile secretly as the ship leaves the harbor.
Make sure you watch over us as the bus bumps along dirt roads that these Berbers walk for miles.
To watering holes where the knives are washed clean after the goat is slaughtered to make that
It used to sit in the corner of your living room...
There goes that haunting melody the Gnaoua chant.
Bringing me back to life.
There goes that hint of your spirit escaping through whitewashed walls as the Mu'Addin calls me to
As the Rabbi calls me to a forgotten piece of home.
Biting cold whips across the ponte stinging my face.
Burning my ears.
Making it impossible to light a smoke.
The arabs are late to meet us at the piazza.
Cheap attempts at a pick up.
We have to get going before the hip hop club closes leaving us with nothing to do...
Eat pastas at the all night shop where men get a little too loose with their hands.
Their mouths say absolutely nothing.
On the way over we stop at the merry-go-round for a ride pretending we are children out late playing
I remember the fettuccine al funghi orgasmed me in my chair.
A classier Harry meeting Sally.
The red wine flowed freely.
My African companion refused to partake citing boring religious doctrine.
I yawned and threw it in his face.
Moral obligations vanish in lieu of blow jobs.
The cafe serving sambucca with their soy milk cappuccinos also served angry drunk aggressive men.
He could not accept I really did not have any cigarettes to spare.
Time for the train.
Back and forth to la stazione Santa Maria Novella.
Changing to Bologna.
Hopping flights to Amsterdam.
Hopping out of the grasp of tiny gypsy hands worming their way into my pockets.
I sobbed all the way home to call you.
Talking until you got me to laugh.
Stumbling over rough cobble stones after too many shots.
Looking up to wave at old nonas closing their shutters for the night.
You two must have looked beautiful gliding around town.
Starlets in the anarchy making.
Swapping lovers swapping clothes.
Insisting somehow it could all work out if only you remembered the foundation.
Didn't you always say you fell in love with her the moment she stepped off the ship?
Before you knew her name.
Before you would ever get the chance.
Didn't you sometimes wish you could have stayed just the two of you hiding away from the rest of the
world with its necessities?
Take the overpass through Turkey to the Far East stopping to sample crystal clear hashish in echoing
mountain ranges where the poppies ooze lust.
Never ever cut you hair.
Never ever change your clothes.
Arriving at the beaches where the hippies run naked.
Sneaking off into low tide caves to make love scratching the grains of sand into your very core...
Too bad you were never a drinker.
You could have driven up into the hills of Toscana sampling blood red wine crushed into sweet nectar
smeared across her breasts.
The heat never came on in the hotel where they stayed.
The water always tepid.
Oh but wasn't it amazing?
Wasn't it freeing?
Didn't it make her always wish you had been Italian to never set foot in America again?
Her van was green.
Which one were you in? ...
I forgot my scarf.
Now the fog is biting.
I need to borrow yours.
The one that matches the cover of Blonde On Blonde.
The one scented with your heady oils.
The one that speaks Italian in the night when I cannot sleep.
Children down below have no homes to go to.
Here comes that wind blowing over the ponte blasting in from the Arno...
Go ask the guy if the hot water has come on?
Go ask what time is rehearsal?
Eva Cherokee El Beze grew up in San Francisco, CA in an anarchist theatre collective. Eva has been published in magazines, journals and books for her poetry, personal essays and creative nonfiction as well as won awards for stage and film scripts. She divides her time between India, Europe, Africa and California.
I fall into a jagged pit,
A stream of blades and blood,
Each attack is an imperfect fit,
A blue wave and a red flood.
My inner eye endures each hit,
And my frail mind melts away,
A ghost whispers “Just submit",
And I numbly stay as I lay.
Love rips heartstrings to hate,
Suffering breeds a crack in the gate.
This quicksand buries my soul,
And despair swallows me whole.
Rachel is a 31 year old avid reader and writer. She enjoys coffee, and loves any and all literature. Stephen King is her hero, and she believes "normal" is a four letter word.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.