Tacked beside Beuys was a picture of a chair designed by the Brazilian brothers Humberto and Fernando Campagna. The chair was made out of an enormous length of rope, wrapped and woven to create a nest-like structure.
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Mother and he had been on friendly terms since / before Boy could remember.
here is the story whereby / the black boy is carried unto a river / named by his people for a road into the sun
On the weekends during lunch, / a cigarette balanced on a grin, / BBQ marinade of RC cola, B96 blaring bass, / Tito Bong made the meat.
still telling the same story in the hospital / about how grandma was choking and choking on that pill / but she got it down with just a little bit of applesauce
I lost a baby two years ago, still thinking of that lost body in my body, its cells permanently shed into the lining of my stomach and lungs, while I sit in front of the Tbilisi Galleria sharing a strange concoction of beef, lamb, onions, parsley, and eggs rolled into a lumpia-like roll...
Minsang estranghero / narito ako ngayon
Which is almost as long / as the Trojan war. The year / my father took her was all oil spills
iii. Tongue out of groove. Meaning, nacre nacre with no grain. No luster here.
what can I do / without disturbing anyone? / can I pray?
The gray-green membrane between spring and summer / is my event horizon
call them low art I send bangers only / my nudes are a Rothko Yellowbone no. 2 I am / pictured in pleasure a joy almost aggressive
Decades from now my first father-daughter dance unrehearsed & / wouldn’t you know it I’m already there though my legs are still catching
The text read: BUG, your Rx is due now. Reply REFILL to fill, HELP for more info, & STOP to opt out of Rx alerts. I did not reply. A woman behind the counter asked if she could help me, and I stepped forward to hand her the orange USPS delivery slip.
The birds chirp, the sun follows, this is how the morning arrives / And my cousin Chinelo knocks on my door, waiting for breakfast
i wish i could go into ambiguous romantic interactions with a sign around my neck that says I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER
three years ago nine black disciples were slain in bible song & since, no signs of goodness have breached the headlines
and i think i’d like a boy to build a country in. i’d like a boy with land
we ate gumbo last night & / sighed the sigh of the satisfied
Mother, you still hold my wrist when we cross the street.
Fat drops of rain. White spores on a shrinking fist. An infection borne down into the cells.
I snip the buds between their legs, / deflower my girls grown in rows because
I grabbed his hand and twisted its spokes through my thicket / and said I would peel his face back the way he peeled
Iris is a tortoiseshell cat. Because so much of my house is mismatched patterns, it is difficult to photograph her. In most she will exist as a blur, a momentary interruption of a couch or rug.
On a summer night after my father did or did not die, I sit with the boys at night on the lakeshore across the highway from my house.
Most people would prefer not to have to look at, or be aware of at all, people with disabilities. But if they have to, they want to break into applause as someone manages to cross a room without falling down. They want to remain in a superior position, and most importantly, they want to believe that it's not that bad.
Dwelling. To dwell. From the Old English word dwellan, which means “to lead astray, hinder, delay”. Later, the word became associated with the state of abiding, or continuing for a time, in a particular place, state or condition. A dwelling, then, is a space between two different states of being, a place of dallying, of pausing in thought.
We stayed silent for a moment. Him standing, eyes solemnly downcast, me squatting, looking up. He told me he trusted me with this knowledge because I was the right kind of Christian. When I asked what he meant, he looked me in the eye and said, the kind who believes.
Years later, a mutual friend will call her a liar, saying she’d lied about her age, she even lied about her hair. I’d heard her accept dozens of compliments on her curls without ever mentioning a perm, so I consider this to be another deceit.
She appeared in the kitchen doorway in her mother’s yellow-and-white dress, tan slingback sandals, and unevenly applied fire-engine red lipstick. She looked like a girl in costume, playacting. The sight of her pinched Mara’s heart.
Daniel, a guy I barely knew from university, said that I should stay in a local house so I could experience the "real" Colombia. I told him I was from Barranquilla.
I thought that after I turned the age he was when he died that I would feel some monumental weight of time, like each second would be a reminder. That didn’t happen. The initial depression came and went and then days passed slowly while years passed quickly and now we are here.
He lived in Denmark for a while, but returned to the Grunewald forest for the last years of his life. From his room in the sanatorium, he painted several depictions of the lake. One of these hangs in the Stadtmuseum in Berlin.
“I don’t understand,” my dad said, face in his hands, as three guards swapped out Aaron’s empty crib and dresser, and all of the clothes and toys still in their gift bags, for Jerry, a middle-aged man serving a ten year sentence, officially our new roommate.
Guilty literary pleasure: Chani Nicholas & Susan Miller horoscopes when the moment they’re published. Any sort of horoscope really.
i want to write about the blueberries i picked from the throat of a New England fall afternoon; how my hands plucked each branch like a familiar melody.
They sat at the dining table to eat, and she was glad for the conversation. It was as though no time had passed. Nilim looked older and more mature, and yet he was exactly the same as she remembered. The power went out with a crack as they finished dinner, and darkness flooded the apartment.
She hates the locker-room shower stalls at the YMCA with the curtain that only covers most of you. She hates that someone could stand in just the right place and peek in. Like those ladies who walk around naked. Maybe they want her to be naked, too.
In silence Xiomara removes the knife from his grip then grabs the can of whole coffee beans off the counter. She takes from it a handful, letting the beans roll from her palm onto a cutting board, and Marcos watches them like marbles circling each other, unsure if they are following or trying to outrun one another.
When YouTube University voted her channel down, the message was clear. No one cared anymore about Esthetics of Architecture. The comments popped faster than she could read them: “higher-world problems,” “elitist hack,” “come down and we’ll show you the real world.” Those were the mildest.
But I am tired, he has exhausted me and I understand now how parents just give in and buy their kids bad ideas and feed them sugar and let strangers watch them while mommy ducks into the local pub at high noon for a quick shot of numb. And it’s in the sale bin for $5.88.
Correct him, even when he yells at you. He’s always been absent-minded, but this is different. Stand your ground when he denies it. It really happened. You were there. He was there, just last week. Last Monday, to be exact. Show him where you wrote it on the calendar.
The only people who speak about the parts of history I’m interested in are drunk older cousins at parties. Unfortunately, they also happen to be the least reliable narrators, on account of their drunkenness, as well as their fondness for exaggeration.
Within the spectrum of chaos and abuse, others have dealt with far worse than me. Anyone that has taken in feral kittens knows that some adapt and others don’t. Sometimes claw marks on the arms of loved ones are the cost of sheltering a wild thing.
made out of thin copper wires originally from a moon planet averse to gravity aware of the pool of rainwater wet stones
into her, and I’m just trying not to get burnt, trying to keep myself whole. Will you try to shatter me?
[me, tense & admitting gunnah; him, heavy sob in a front seat]
now as in forever soul || luos reverof ni sa won
brother i was in a dream state/ Jesus was there/ & Gil Scott-Heron/ & the only sound/ the whirr of the ceiling fan/ brother/ the night we took
I was in calculus learning about tangents when I noticed, on the glossy
It has been five seasons since Rat King was made into Rat King. It took one season for them to learn to speak in unison
I am a gutted afterthought meaning my skin slips like any other
We find a note in the house from St. V’s, a summons to a meeting to discuss suspension
Little girl leaps Into the rhythm of the thing
"YOU HAVE THE BODY OF A WOMAN BUT THE FACE OF A GIRL"
Some of the vendors stood and smoked, some joked with one another, their laughter slowly dissipating in the night; others sat; still, a few looked as if they had fallen asleep. It was late, a little past 10:30pm. An older woman with tired eyes and a lot of makeup waved to him, offered him a pamphlet with words he couldn’t quite understand. She moved onto to another person, handed out another pamphlet. He read the Korean below: “Jesus Christ saves.”
He was cute, but I liked his ambition more. He wanted to create his own tech start-up; he was just trying to figure out which problem he wanted to solve first, he said. He’d traveled throughout Europe on vacations with his family growing up. My mom and I had never been on vacation ever, except to go see Mee-Maw in New York when her health started failing. When I studied abroad, I was the first person in my family to travel outside of the country.
The dog that bit me was a stray scavenging on the street; I was eight years old. After letting go of my mother’s hand to embrace the dog around its neck, I only remember a few details.
“after church, purse filled with easter eggs & holy water the wife takes the uncle in, it’s just for a few weeks, until he gets back on his feet.”
“Your politics refers to an attempt to make/some part of yourself safe.”
“You mistook his peace for shyness mistook the blue for pools the eyes for danger because all the other eyes of all the other boys hid hostage narratives”
“I was nobody’s angel in the centerfold/too ballet scrawny to have any curves/too darkskinned to light up a room/too short to tower over my haters”
“because i had to, because/there is no room in the anglo o rthography /for an accented o, an ó/who is a mother with an umbilical cord/hanging out loose”
“I will die on Sunday afternoon in Saginaw/following a plate of my mother’s/enchiladas, fried chicken, and rice.”
“I’m never a teenager at all, if it can be arranged. I see the car coming and don’t make the left turn.”
“my children will begin to understand sometimes Dads are not your real Dads maybe their real Dad is still wandering no change of clothes no cash no comb”
“My body brown/as river. Silt all over/your fingers./I want to see you/lick yourself clean.”
“i can imagine you imagining me doing that with you like i was imagining in that moment / you never really know what the other person is thinking but i thought if we were off the clock i would try to find a way to kiss you”
“& what should I have grown up to be? She tried. Parted our hair to the side. Let two boys throw love at her one stuck she thought it was a miracle.”
I passed by dried limes, herbs, fresh cheese, honey combs, lentils, henna and walnuts. I stopped to ask for a sample of red plum paste that tasted so sour all the muscles in my face twisted up. The vendors laughed at me kindly. I wanted to disappear into everything. I wanted to run away.
When the doors of the Downtown A slide open, college couples exit—ping pong balls of intoxication bouncing into the night. You squeeze into the only vacant seat next to a man with his knees pressed together, oxforded feet crossed. He resides in the middle of a three-seat bench. His navy-slacked thighs press you into the partition.
This is my new gf. She doesn’t like where I live. Is it because of the fairy lights? I ask. She doesn’t say, she never says much, but she likes it more if we stay at her place, which is miles away. We go there after work sometimes, past a field with horses on the way. ‘Horses,’ I say.
Emmy can see the interstate and the flashing colored lights of the Gold Club, the shadow of the bouncer by the entrance and the boisterous groups of men filing in with pockets full of singles. On the other side of the highway, a back street dead-ends into a Baptist church. The scent of the drive-in doesn’t reach this high. Instead it smells like rain and gas fumes from the traffic roaring by, looping the city, their taillights melting into a red-yellow stream.
I haven’t prayed in years, since high school when I prayed for a date to prom. When I used to pray I could feel a presence hanging above me, a great translucent presence high above, gooey, like a puddle of jello. I decide to try it out again.
If only he could be Jonas Delvecchio, who lived in a real house just three bus stops away. Jonas had been adopted as an infant by an Italian couple who drove Porsches and took him skiing in Madrid every year. Because of his parents, Jonas knew things the other kids didn’t. Saline swimming pools didn’t dry out your skin as much as chlorine. The most comfortable pillows were made of down. Purebred poodles were better behaved than purebred Chihuahuas.
. . The Depth of the coal by which I mean, the depth of the cool. The Depth was knowing at the string of me by [...]
ISLAND VISIT When my new wife and I arrive on an island, we see a row of sales counters for car rental agencies, but we have [...]
“According to National Geographic, scientists have now developed the technology by which to grow tiny human hearts on spinach leaves.”
“cut offs and a racoon shirt/or finding fate in cut off (or la coupe)/where have you gone?”
“permiso,/slice open a mango. stream the juice/along my collar bone and drink. Taste…”
“Only please when you mean it./I’d give you all the stars//slipping across your milky chest,/spill them as secrets…”
“Drops of lavender/hush the sheets./Where’s my mind?/Curtained, squirming.”
“...6 months on, my hair began to drop me in chunks./i was 31. i was not ready to be bald because my brain was breaking.”
“in the beginning/God felt a little cute/so in his image/He created man…”
“The super sacredness of this,/my real Indian poem,/is going to absolve all white guilt, /but only if you buy my book…”
“Are your parents married? Why did your father marry her? Does he love her? Why is she so dark?”
“Don't know where my singing voice has gone./I swear I saw it somewhere here”
after a while you won't be able to turn on the wim wenders film paris texas just because it is streaming on demand and it is friday evening and you are living alone because he who has bale coloured hair and sensitive skin is interstate for the time being working for the man you won't be able to simply watch movies that too heavily dramatise male loneliness
Under oak trees, on a table surrounded by two small bouquets of chamomile, I watched Shylah Hamilton, a filmmaker and fiction writer, and rapper Vreni Michelini-Castillo perform a ceremony designed to facilitate creativity and self-reflection. I listened to their thoughts on creativity, racism, and colonization--how these topics affect marginalized artists--and wondered why my life isn’t right.
We’ve been touring Israel, my mom and I, for almost two weeks now and until this point everything’s been agreeable. The crusader fortress in Akko, the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa, the visit to Kibbutz El Rom, the winery in the Golan Heights (which I skipped, more of a beer person). Even St. Peters Church had weakened me.
T. rex roared, eyes flicking about in short, rapid movements consistent with a predator possessing heightened sensory abilities. It paused before us, head hovering fifteen feet above. It screamed, teeth long like fingers. Cassidy and I reflexively cowered, then laughed.
That night, Jezebel dreams that she forgot her purse on the bus. She chases the bus on foot from stop to stop, always a few feet behind, until it disappears around a bend. She wakes up aching. She feels like she has shed a layer of skin. She turns to David in half-sleep and when she speaks her voice cracks in the dark like static on wool. David pulls her closer to his chest. She says, “I’m always dreaming of losing things. I leave bits of myself behind wherever I go.”
I see life lines and love lines like I’ve never seen them before. As I look, I know what they say. Suddenly I know how to read, like my daughter. This knowledge is no longer inaccessible to me.
he had made a pass at her on a rooftop that went horribly wrong because he thought she would think it was sexy if he put a cigarette out on his wrist like Darby Crash’s sycophantic girl fans, but it hurt like hell and she laughed at him and went into the bathroom to do some crank
These joys should be enough evidence to prove, yes, he is happy. But why does this question keep appearing and spreading like pests? When Joe wakes up, three hours later, he discovers that he has just experienced a terrible dream that he cannot remember. Is it about Allison—no. Is it about The Store—no. Is it about doing something else other than grocery; is it about being someone completely different—maybe?
Elise shook her head in reply. ‘You know, maybe I was a coward before. But now,’ she smiled, knowing how irritating her next phrase would be, and pleased she had come up with it, ‘but now I feel like my feelings have been cut away.’
And that was when he introduced me to the concept of child sharing, an idea that he had evidently been rolling around in his head since he was in high school. He had the idea that we could find other people who wanted to have a share in our child—people we liked, who didn’t want their own baby.
On the afternoon that the king’s herald arrived the goosegirls were not minding their geese. They were at the stream, barefoot and barelegged, the hems of their shifts knotted and clutched in their fists as they waded through the water. They made their way to the boulders at the center of the stream. Their hair, long and dark, hung free.
Kathy Bates wasn’t actually the actress Kathy Bates, but a corpulent queen who was also in the bar performing right after Kelsi. She was feral. Her makeup was bright red and white, applied liked war paint. I could hear her screeching from backstage.
For many, the sun-sparkling Atlantic, the clean-as-seashell beaches, and the freshly-caught seafood of Provincetown are a vacation paradise. For gays, it’s a liberating mecca where kissing, hand-holding, and public displays of affection are smiled upon.