Library Installation & In 2006 Burning CDs Was All the Rage by Justin Holliday

Library Installation

He destroys books. It’s a ritual: each Thursday he goes to the local used bookstore with $20 in his wallet and winds his way through sci-fi, romance, classics, photography, and ends with philosophy. With these bundles, he races home, pulling his finds out of the paper bag and spreads them in a semicircle. Out come other materials he keeps in the studio: glue, cosmetics, beads, feathers, zippers, scissors. It looks like a child’s craft area minus construction paper and googley eyes. He picks up a romance, finds an amorous passage, and draws a red-lipstick heart upside down on the page. When aliens begin taking over the human race in a ratty paperback copy of an X-Files novelization, he draws a skull with a purple Sharpie and places a two-fingered peace sign to the right, estimating the phantom space where the arm of the death’s head should be. He rips out pages of Anaïs Nin’s erotic diaries and pastes them before the most discomfiting scenes of Lolita. When he finds the perfect antichristian aphorisms from Nietzsche, he cuts them in perfect rectangles and pastes them below photos of starving children, whom he has doused with glitter. Next week will be his exhibition of yellowed pages and illustrations at the art museum, complete with dusty shelves and chairs that scrape too loudly across the floor. People will read these destructions, believing this is reality, not knowing collapse is creation, not knowing who William Burroughs is.

In 2006 Burning CDs Was All the Rage

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Justin Holliday is an English lecturer and poet. His work has appeared in Rogue Agent, Impossible Archetype, Occulum, b(OINK), Queen Mob's Teahouse, and elsewhere. 

Cosmogram & Stump by Will Cordeiro

Cosmogram

A smooth stone tablet—slightly larger than a paperback, but smaller than a laptop—etched with a few odd divots, scratches, marks. A very modest piece in the museum’s display case. Neither the famed calendric disc of the Aztecs, heavy with the rites of sacrificial violence, nor the intricate mandalas of Tibet composed of colored sand which are brushed away upon completion. The placard simply states “cosmograma (?)” with no other attribution. The few lines and points scored upon it could be a record of the stars, of comets, of the cycles of the moon and sea, of the seasons—equinox and solstice, the earth’s daily rotation: a systematic ordering of the universe demonstrating how its far-flung mechanisms implicate our earthbound routines. Morning, noon, and night; play and work; worship and mourning; sowing and harvest; death and fertility. Coordinates, trajectories, fulcrums where the sun and its many relatives, billionized across the dark beyond, operate their spooky action-at-a-distance deep inside our every cell. Or maybe it means none of this. Maybe the lines were only childish doodles, the divots little spots for counters in a gameboard. 

Stump

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Will Cordeiro has recent work appearing or forthcoming in Best New Poets, Blue Earth Review, DIAGRAM, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Nashville Review, Poetry Northwest, Zone 3, and elsewhere. He teaches in the Honors College at Northern Arizona University.

Two Poems by Joseph Quiroz

Sad Burger King

The Burger King

eating at Pizza Hut

means the king

has no power

 

When you're the DAMN

BURGER KING, wouldn't

you be happy knowing

you control a kingdom of

burgers?

 

So why eat at Pizza Hut

unless you have absolutely

nothing and crappy food?

 

Pizza Hut isn't even

the king of pizza but at

Pizza Hut, the Burger King

will stand out as Pizza Hut

has no real mascot anymore

as the Pizza Head that ruled

was eaten years ago

KFC has Colonel Sanders

McDonald's has Ronald McDonald

The Burger King can't go

to those two places

if he goes AWOL

 

He needs to be as free

as a bird hence that

is why he goes to Pizza

Hut ... He has no Colonel

Sanders to push him

around

 

The Burger King has to

always be king

 

long live the new king

of Pizza Hut

may he bring many

pizza burgers

as he finally gets the

home he deserves I think

as his creepy face

will finally stand out

in the land of pizza

 

An Ode to Freedom Fries

Remember freedom fries?

 

Those fries never felt free

in my stomach but they never

felt French either.

 

Someone probably complained

about them on MySpace

in a black glitter box of doom.

 

Did George W. Bush have a MySpace?

 

I was supposed to go back to

MySpace after college but Facebook

took over and killed all those black

glitter boxes of doom.

 

Even all the ones that belonged

to George W. Bush and all his

lesser clones but still those

fries never felt free as I never

got a miniature American flag

with them

 

A little old glory at noon is

what I needed after long days and

long nights wasting away in AOL

chat rooms gazing over the

AOL 700-hour free discs

wondering how to destroy them next

but I always loved fries

even when they weren't free

costing only a dollar for what could

compel one to hate fries

 

It's love on a tray

 

Joseph Quiroz is a 29-year-old male from North Arlington, NJ who has been performing at poetry slams and open mics all throughout the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania areas since Dec of 2013. He represented Rock Slam out of Nyack, NY at the National Poetry Slam in 2016. His work has been published in Degenerate Literature, TL;DR Magazine, Horror, Sleaze and Trash, Philosophical Idiot, Blue Mountain Review and The Platform Review: Arts By The People. He can be found on Instagram at JosephAndrew27 and on Twitter at JoeWritesPoetry.

Two Poems by Andrea Rogers

THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS*

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*The Museum of Broken Relationships is an actual museum which showcases stories of heartbreak from around the world and their accompanying mementos. The organization behind the project describes it as “a museum about you, about us, about the ways we love and lose.” It boasts both a virtual presence and physical locations in Zagreb and L.A.

 

THE LONG WEEKEND

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Andrea Rogers is a poet, musician, and postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech, where she teaches writing. She is the recipient of the 2015 Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival Poetry Prize, judged by Tracy K. Smith, and two Academy of American Poets awards. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Hunger Mountain, The Adirondack Review, District Lit, and anthologies by Black Lawrence Press, Negative Capability, and Red Paint Hill. She and her band, Night Driving in Small Towns, have been featured by Rolling Stone and NPR.

Two Poems by Jill Talbot

When Hatchimals Came To Town

The ugliest toy of the season

emerges from its egg—causes

riots in the street. If Furbies had

half-night stands with Tamagotchies—

meet Hatchimals.

 

Which witch is which?

 

Nevermind Aleppo, nevermind Trump,

somebody just paid $500 for a Hatchimal.

You evil little elves—it’s Christmas.

Somebody had a three-night stand

with a Neanderthal. Hatchimal, Hatchimal,

wherefore art thou Hatchimal?

 

Is it made of Gold or silver? Does it speak

fluent Latin? It has marbles, they are eyes.

It has an egg, it has a due date.

It’ll be in a landfill by next

season. Will you buy it?

 

The Real Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit lies on the bed,

his fortune awaits—will he become Real

some day? Will he lick salt and frolic

with the other rabbits? For now

 

all they want is for him to lick salt

from the boy’s tears. In the Real version

the rabbit ought to be angry with those

who bought him to begin with.

 

A furuncle develops deep in his skin,

a tiny bit of Real is trying to break free—

until it erupts. He is becoming Real slowly

 

then quickly. At first he is hinky—

unsure of himself. Then he becomes

 

animate and fervent—he shakes and moves

and dances! His fur grows shabby and starts

to grow longer, he becomes bearded

like a goat and becomes older and wiser.

 

He jumps on the boy’s emerald green dresser

to eat a prune, why shouldn’t it be his?

The boy wouldn’t eat it.

 

Some might say that he is not as cute

as he used to be but he knows

this doesn’t matter any more

 

for he is Real and all the other toys

are jealous, as they should be.

 

This is the Real version of the story.

Who would want to be bought then thrown

into a pile, waiting to be set on fire—

 

to an oven—I can think of where

that has happened before. To be Real

 

is not always easy, of course. It hurts

sometimes, they got that part right.

 

But it hurts especially to know

one was Unreal before.

 

This is the story they do not teach

so when I became Real I set down

to teach it.

Jill Talbot's writing has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review, The Cardiff Review, PRISM and others. Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC.

Discarded Buttons by Rona Fitzgerald

Discarded Buttons

In a small translucent box they wait

colour coded          full of memories.

 

My Mam sewed all our clothes.

Gathering buttons like sweet treats

to make blouses and dresses our own.

 

I see her bent over vogue patterns still.

 

Let’s make the sleeves silk                           

cover the buttons with the same shade.

 

When chucking out or recycling

I cut off buttons, add them to the box.

          

Smile.

 

Me who was thrown out of sewing

blotches on my run and fell seam.

 

Greens and blues remind me of Dollymount beach

sea stretching to infinity.

 

Yellow and orange shimmer

sunshine on a Glasgow day.

 

My favourite      a heart shaped button

in bruised purple.

Rona Fitzgerald was born in Dublin and now lives in Glasgow. Her most recent publications are Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry, Three Drops from a Cauldron Midwinter Special, Obsessed with Pipework No. 78, Oxford Poetry XVI.iii Winter 2016-17, and ten poems in Resurrection of a Sunflower: Pski’s Porch, 2017.