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Zin’s 14th Street Demo

by Kyle Hemmings

14th-pola

We are glitter-puppies in a dance temple of extended happy hour truths. Some of us will die in our distressed jeans. Who is the closet lipster with too many au cellphone lives? So wasted in those buckled high-heeled sandals & waist-tiered crochet shirt. On Wednesdays, the 70s disco night, I imagine her heart to be a sponge. On Saturday Classic Free Style, it is a terrorist on high pump. No cause for alarm. Everyone’s false eyelashes will fall straight, sooner or later. & the Bobbsy-Brothers are approaching Zen-Oneness to dub step & wobble bass. When they play Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger,” I want to be a tramp stamp on someone’s misaligned spine. Or a compressed shadow with strong techno inclinations. Outside this place the comets are cynical & keep missing the sleep-deprived. I will hand over my skinny frayed self to DJ Pharaoh Sun-Rah. My body, all patch cords & re-mixed air. I could fly for an instant like a homesick bird with prosthetic wings. In the morning, we will make love to our stalkers in double-breasted trench coats. We will recall with true Platonic form how our lead-footed mothers gave birth to us in S&M dungeons. They had such crazy whips. We will turn to tiny glass gazelles scattered on the streets, crushed by taxis rushing one way. Darling, it’s really all a glazed hallucination that never sleeps. But you can still like us on Facebook.

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Kyle Hemmings has been published in Wigleaf, Storyglossia, Elimae, Match Book, This Zine Will Save Your Life, and elsewhere. He lives and writes in New Jersey. He loves cats and dogs.

Lust

by Sumana Roy

Sumana-pola

The window’s a quilt
I scratch with toes
in my finger-sleep.
Two men climb a coconut tree.
Their feet are tied with rope.
Coconut coir anklets scratch
their heels, pinch old bark.
They are a collage of waves
in my language-fever.
One climbs, the other slides –
gnashes of curiosity
on my amulet mind.

The bed’s a mat
I rub with grass-skin.
Their sole-touches
are flute-whispers
to my beggar ears.
I lie awake –
my childhood returns
wrapped in coconut,
a naked roar
under my tongue.

Wetness is a wave
that arrives on
webbed feet.
It turns me woman,
then a midnight corpse.
My breath is a blur
against the sea.
My secrets wash water.
The doctor is a ghost
who mends socks
by night and sells
crutches by day.

I want to move.
To the rhythm
of snakes
in crowded zoos,
to the temper
of planktons
in belching seas.
I want to move
to a wayfarer’s lust.
For lust comes
only in anarchy,
in a stranger’s shoes.

I am poor.
My marijuana limbs
are Crusoe’s island.
Nothing moves
except cannibal feet.
I wait for stranger ships,
for snail crawl,
for sparrow smoke,
for you, stranger.

Nothing moves
in my city, stranger,
nothing except lust.
For you stranger,
my legs are statues.
For you I’ve waited,
to make me move –
to turn me from
mountain to river,
scar to pus,
a toe-ring bell.

And you’ll look away,
just, just because
I can’t walk?
Because I haven’t
walked through wars?
Are legs all –
carrier of hunger?
Is stillness a plague?

String dancers’ eyes
on deer-tails for me,
make me ghungroos,
make me the wind
on a lantern’s tongue,
a plough on land,
lightning on a flag,
dew simmering in the sun,
make me a wound,
a rotting fruit
that moves as it dies.
Stranger,
make me a lie,
make me your heart,
make me move,
make me your lust.

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Sumana Roy is a writer and student in West Bengal, India.

No Tide

by Shenan Prestwich

Shenan-pola

It’s the grilled cheese face of Jesus,
the president in the potato chip,
the way we hear exactly what we need to hear
exactly when we need to hear it or the way
upon learning a new word or old song
everyone but us has known for ages,
we then find it everywhere, on every page
and station, as if we greeted it precisely
when we did because it was to fill our lives
completely, the way we can’t remember
what the world was like before we met,
how it looked before we found each face
in everything we saw.

It’s a fleet of paper airplanes being tossed
at us, containing folded hints and treasure
maps in tangled tongues that intimate,
Go here, not there; stash your key ring
in the right-hand pocket, leave the shower
from the left-hand side, slip on the scuffed red shoes.
Eat the orange now, not later. You will know
you made the choice you needed
when you see the poster as the train stalls
at the station, telling you, “YOUR DAY IS
LOOKING BRIGHTER ALREADY.”
We take the advertisement as a sign
because it’s better that way, the rain
a requisite, the red shoe a divining rod,
leading us to water, to sunlight,
to a confluence, to where–
the further back we look–
we were always meant to be,
when really it’s the way

that, now and then, abutting points
of impact from snowflakes parachuting down
and spattering in a puddle will lock hands
and form a Red Rover line of ripples
that appear to lap against the curb
in concert, morph the stagnant pool
into an ocean of primeval, cadenced waves,
its swelling and receding governed
by clocks and turns of tide, an ancient mouth
that swallows and expels all things in service of
a perfect gravity: a mirage for us to rest upon
when there is no lunar pull or polarized,
magnetic plates conducting surges
in and outward like a watery breath,
no self-perpetuating current–
only tiny sonic booms,
amplifying one another,
agitating landscapes
briefly due to where we fall.

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Shenan Prestwich is a poet living and working in the Washington, DC area. She has been writing poetry for over a decade, and graduated in 2010 with her Master of Arts degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Who’s Your Phuture?

by Kyle Hemmings

phuture-pola

When Zin gropes love handles & shaky slim-boy loves. When she goes boom boom bust with bakery lists, scratching & crossing out until there’s nothing left but pineapple cheesecake too much for one sugar-girl. Or if she gets too crazy looking for the perfect enchilada. Even her best buzz-girlz hum from boredom.

When she’s hooked on some crank-czar who has her by both body-chord & iPhone. When he traps her in the late-hour desperate voice messages.

When the signal fails.

Me, I’m dying in the crosstalk. I want to re-wire her, tell her that it doesn’t take much. You could use what you have. Some early rapper once made soup out of butterflies. A retired DJ created a paste from old love letters.

I store my love in the oldest part of my brain. My brain is a crude one-note oscillator. All day I compose pop tunes that end at the bridge.

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Kyle Hemmings has been published in Wigleaf, Storyglossia, Elimae, Match Book, This Zine Will Save Your Life, and elsewhere. He lives and writes in New Jersey. He loves cats and dogs.


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